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Indybay Feature

Defense Demands the Missing Videos in the Santa Cruz Eleven case

Friday, May 18, 2012
8:15 AM - 9:15 AM
Event Type:
Court Date
Robert Norse
Location Details:
701 Ocean St. County Courthouse Dept #6

Another in the endless round of costly "conspiracy" charges against reporters, activists, and peacemakers who were targeted scapegoats for the 75 River St. occupation (which involved hundreds of people).

Attorney David Beauvais will ask Judge Paul Burdick to grant a Motion to Compel Discovery in the Santa Cruz Eleven case (specifically that of Robert Norse Kahn).

So far D.A. Rebekah Young has broken her promises four times to turn over the video that she has been relying on for "evidence" in the Preliminary Hearings of other defendants.

According to Detective Gunter's testimony at the two hearings this involves 20 hours of video, He's also sworn under penalty of perjury here's also more as yet unloaded video from the police servers.

Defendants requested this video as early as mid-February.

Because the video is unlikely to appear along with police reports and other reqeusted info, we'll be demanding, a continuance of the Preliminary Hearing, now slated for May 29th. I recommend the other four defendants do the same.

Young's record so far is zero percent, with every case that's gone to Preliminary Hearing dismissed. That makes six out of eleven.

Young still insists she'll be refiling charges anyway in two cases.

The spectacle of trying to patch up this attack on community activists with far-fetched conspiracy charges that have nothing to do with the actual behavior of the defendants is both farcical and depressing.

Even more depressing is the fact that this attack on the right to assemble and protest continues under Bob Lee's signature in spite of the "dismiss" rulings of normally prosecutor-friendly judges.

However recent community response has been encouraging.

For more info on these cases generally and to offer support, go to .

Recent support rallies:

For my take, see and other articles under "Norse" on this website.

Empty Buildings are the crime.
Added to the calendar on Thu, May 17, 2012 7:27AM
§More on the Videos
by Robert Norse
The only videos D.A. Bob Lee's office have released are posted on his own special You-Tube site at

Ironically, none of these have been provided to the defense, as far as I know, in spite of repeated requests. Instead they have been released without documentation or adequate time stamp to the public generally to whip up informant testimony.

Clearly these videos are available--so why haven't they been provided with time stamp?

Is the D.A.'s office lazy, incompetent, or contemptuous of the defense? Or do they feel they are simply above the law?

Nor does the D.A.'s office deny they have the longer videos, simply they are "having trouble" copying them.

The willingness to ignore basic evidentiary requirements and First Amendment concerns has resulted so far in 6 dismissals.

The arrogance of power seems alive and well in Santa Cruz
by Robert Norse
From second-hand reports (I was sick and not able to attend the hearing),

I understand that Judge Burdick granted the Motion to Compel. Young did not even oppose it. Burdick ordered Young to present video that she'd partially provided to some of the attorneys but not to others by Monday 5 PM. This would include the great majority of the video which hasn't been passed over, as well as video that hasn't been downloaded from the police server as well as other documents. In spite of the endless delay and possible prevarication by Young around this, Burdick suggested no sanctions or penalties for her--as I understand it.

The Motion was joined in by attorneys Brian Hackett (representing Gabriella Ripplyphipps) and Dan Clymo (representing Becky Johnson). Not sure why the two other attorneys whose clients (Brent, Desiree) are also scheduled for Preliminary Hearing May 29th weren't doing so. It seems pretty clear to me you don't proceed to the Preliminary Hearing where you get the cops on record under penalty of perjury until you have all the evidence to ask questions from.

One thing that did come out of the hearing apparently was that Burdick, who the clerk's office said would be on vacation from 5-21 on, said he'd be on the bench for the Preliminary Hearing. His refusal to grant a continuance may have been a disguised way of saying "I've dismissed all the other cases; that's the way these will probably go too; why sweat it?" That's the positive interpretation.

Then it could be that Burdick is just tired of this circus--as we all are.

The video could be helpful in showing police selective enforcement and D.A. selective prosecution. Be a battle to prove it though, I imagine.

With cases against Occupy activists all around the country generally coming up not guilty or dismissed, it may embolden folks to hit the streets again. We'll see.
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