The civil trial for false arrest damages against former Santa Cruz Mayors Krohn and Fitzmaurice will begin October 29th in Federal Court in San Jose.
The specific issues resolve around two false arrest incidents at City Council, one of them for making a brief mock-Nazi salute after the Mayor silenced Oral Communications speakers with threat of expulsion, the other for a peaceful silent protest highlighting the homeless deaths in Santa Cruz in 2003.
The broader issues involve the health of the First Amendment in Santa Cruz, at City Council and on the streets.
Recently Santa Cruz has more administratively-declared curfews, "no trespassing" zones, and serious political trials than at any time in the recent past Official police attacks destroying homeless survival gear and criminalizing people with no legal shelter have spiked.
Activist Robert Norse and attorney Kate Weills will discuss the issues. As well as the city's waste of money (more than $150,000 so far) defending its repressive City Council decorum rules and trying to avoid a civil trial.
Norse has offered to settle. The city has refused and though asked to appear to defend its position, will likely not show up on the show. Former Mayor Krohn has been invited and declined to come.
Trial costs are likely to run to tens of thousands of dollars if the City persists in its refusal to settle--which involves paying off attorney expenses and changing the decorum rules to accord with 9th Circuit Court directives.
The Sentinel's latest story and many of the legal papers involved can be found at http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_21683823?
My past commentaries on the broader issues involved can be found in the Sentinel at http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_19074742
(“Abuse of power continues, unchecked”) http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_18067570
(“City can save thousands of dollars by ending sleeping ban”) http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_17109822
(“Court's decision brings back the First Amendment to Santa Cruz”) http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_13844857
(“City Council silencing dissenting voices”)
My most recent detailed comment on the lawsuit--from a year and a half ago: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/05/08/18679247.php
Call-in to KSCO at 831-479-1080 .