UCD Student Faces Felony Charges and Possible Expulsion For Vandalism

davis-dozen-rally.jpgThomas Matzat suffered nerve damage when he was one of 10 arrested for misdemeanors during the camp clearing operation back in November 2011.  On Friday, he will be one of 12 arraigned on misdemeanor charges for his bank blocking actions and, reportedly, he will also be arraigned on felony vandalism charges.

Andy Fell, spokesperson for UC Davis, told the Vanguard that “Thomas Matzat, 22, of El Dorado Hills, a UC Davis student, was arrested March 17 on charges of felony vandalism in connection with a series of graffiti incidents on campus.”

UC Davis spokesperson Barry Shiller referred the Vanguard to the District Attorney’s office, but Michael Cabral did not respond to an emailed request for information.

Kristin Koster informed the Vanguard that Mr. Matzat has been dismissed from the university and kicked out of his student housing.

Mr. Fell could not confirm that, stating, “I just checked with the Registrar’s office and Thomas Matzat is a current student.”

However, beyond that UC Davis could not say because, according to Mr. Shiller, “federal privacy law precludes us from providing anything related to a student’s record.”

What the Vanguard can confirm is that Mr. Matzat is scheduled to be arraigned on April 27 at 8:30 for his misdemeanor charges, along with 11 other protesters, stemming from the bank blocking operation.

According to an Enterprise article from April 5, “English professor Joshua Clover said an art student had shown slides of political graffiti, including some of the student’s own, and later was arrested. Clover did not name Matzat.”

Professor Clover declined comment, citing the pending legal charges against him.

According to a press release from “Occupy UC Davis Antirepression Crew Media,” Mr. Matzat “was charged with Felony Vandalism and held in jail over the weekend and into finals week; his school supplies, phone and computer were all confiscated.”

“With no access to his contacts nor warning of the arrest, he was unable to contact legal representation. Incommunicado in jail, he was unable to take final exams, and was only bailed out (for $20,000) when concerned friends began looking for him after he had been missing for days,” they write.

“UC Davis Student Judicial Affairs, which initiated the warrant for his arrest, didn’t bother to notify his home department, his family, friends, or professors to let them know the student’s whereabouts,” they continue.

This apparently has led to his dismissal from the university.

“Several weeks later, both Student Judicial Affairs and Student Housing are threatening him with disciplinary measures including eviction and expulsion, in addition to the criminal charges they initiated through Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig” the press release continues.

“The student, who entered UCD as a transfer student last fall, is now facing expulsion based on poor academic performance, on top of criminal charges that may carry a 3-4 year sentence and $10,000 fine,” the release said.

“The charges against this student-activist are in line with the ongoing and systematic police and legal repression of the Occupy movement,” the group said. “Threatening people with inflated or trumped-up charges, a familiar tactic in many vulnerable communities, is now increasingly wielded as a strategy to chill political dissent on campuses – a way of exacting punishment in jail time, legal expenses, and interference with other obligations before the opportunity for trial.”

This is the new de facto regime of guilty until proven innocent, and it should be opposed by every decent person,” said Joshua Clover, a professor at UCD.

The release goes on to write, “The university News Service, which reports directly to Chancellor Katehi, has already expressed its enthusiasm for engaging ‘law enforcement to prosecute proven violations’ – seeming to misunderstand the legal relation of trials, proof, and guilt almost entirely, with harmful consequences for students.”

The press release notes the Reynoso Task Force Report, which they argued “verified that the administration’s unfounded hysteria regarding the Occupy movement resulted in their extralegal use of force against student activists.”

Here they refer to the administration’s apparent preoccupation with unaffiliated students.  And if you think “hysteria” is too strong a word, it is not that much different from the notion of “succumbed to fear” advanced by the always radical Davis Enterprise Editorial page.

The Davis Enterprise editorial last week argued, “Rather than listen to staff members who had spent hours with the Occupy UC Davis protesters, Chancellor Linda Katehi’s misnamed ‘leadership team’ succumbed to fear about non-students camping on the Quad.”

The Enterprise continued, “Not only did top brass not go look for themselves, they couldn’t be bothered to hold meetings. With the safety of students on the line, they held conference calls ending with uncertainty about what decisions were made and who made them.”

They add, “Inexplicably, the group did not consider alternatives to sending in police – when every alternative should have been exhausted before an officer picked up a helmet or baton.”

The press release argues, “Importantly, the Reynoso Report also underscored the need for campus authorities to handle student political protest through already established, appropriate channels; namely through the SJA and Student Affairs – and not by means of police and criminal charges.”

They conclude, “We urge the UCD campus community and the general public to reject categorically the administration’s use of legal maneuvering to suppress political dissent.”

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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53 Comments

  1. JustSaying

    Who is Kristen Koster? Keep reporting on your efforts with the DA’s office–eventually the “no response” emails will result in a change of policy or, at least, another [i]Vanguard[/i] story describing their repeated refusals.

    OMG, here’s Prof. Joshua Clover again, this time referring to felony vandalism as “political graffiti.” Maybe Lt. Pike can assert a new defense, “pepper-spray performance art.”

    Being charged always has come before a trial–Clover can’t really think this is something new (“new de facto regime of guilty until proven innocent, and it should be opposed by every decent person”).

    Who is behind this news release? Do you really think this statement is credible?[quote]“With no access to his contacts nor warning of the arrest, he was unable to contact legal representation. Incommunicado in jail, he was unable to take final exams, and was only bailed out (for $20,000) when concerned friends began looking for him after he had been missing for days,”[/quote]I don’t believe he was held incommunicado; did you try to confirm this claim?

  2. Mr.Toad

    “UC Davis Student Judicial Affairs, which initiated the warrant for his arrest, didn’t bother to notify his home department, his family, friends, or professors to let them know the student’s whereabouts,” they continue.’ “

    Classy.

  3. David M. Greenwald

    I think they meant he couldn’t easily communicate with his professors, but I’m not sure. He may have been suffering from depression as well which didn’t help matters.

    As far as I can tell Kristin Koster is either graduate student or a lecturer.

    Who is behind the release? I identified the group name, I believe the group is the primary group of occupiers who were among those arrested/ pepper sprayed and those involved in the bank action.

  4. JustSaying

    [quote]“I think they meant he couldn’t easily communicate with his professors, but I’m not sure.”[/quote]If that’s what you think, why print obvious lies about being held for days unable to contact an attorney? If you’re not sure, why not check it out before you print obvious lies? Surely the press release had some contact name and number–who was it?

  5. Edgar Wai

    Regarding this claim:
    [i]”UC Davis Student Judicial Affairs, which initiated the warrant for his arrest, didn’t bother to notify his home department, his family, friends, or professors to let them know the student’s whereabouts,” they continue.'”
    [/i]

    Could someone explain whether it is part of SJA procedure to make such notifications after an arrest by the police, and whether that would violated privacy regulations if they did make such a notification after the arrest?

  6. JustSaying

    David, this action apparently was initiated by UC Davis Student Judicial Affairs. Isn’t this the body you wanted to have act to determine appropriate punishment? Finally, the university had done something with which you approve.

  7. Rifkin

    [i]”… (Thomas Matzat) will … also be arraigned on felony vandalism charges.”[/i]

    Good.

    [i]”According to a press release … Mr. Matzat ‘was charged with Felony Vandalism and held in jail over the weekend and into finals week; his school supplies, phone and computer were all confiscated.'[/i]

    Very good.

    [i]”This apparently has led to his dismissal from the university.”[/i]

    Good.

    [i]”… disciplinary measures including eviction and expulsion …”[/i]

    Good.

    [i]”… facing expulsion based on poor academic performance, on top of criminal charges that may carry a 3-4 year sentence and $10,000 fine …” [/i]

    Good.

    [i]”… its enthusiasm for engaging ‘law enforcement to prosecute proven violations’ …”[/i]

    Very, very good.

    Every graffiti vandal deserves serious punishment. I wish the police in Davis would conduct stake-outs to catch the punks who mar public and private property with their spraypaint and treat each of them as harshly as possible, including serious public shaming and ridicule. No common crime does more to ruin the fabric of society than this sort of wanton ruin of the public good for no gain by anyone but the maniacs who engage in it.

    A strange fact about vandals is that if these criminals spraypainted animals or chopped up shrubbery everyone in Davis would agree they need serious punishment. But because they only damage destroy material beauty (or banality) most people think their actions are not much of a crime and deserve no harsh sentence. My take is this: show me a society covered in gang signs or initials or other acts of spraypaint vandals and it is a society in ruin and a much less nice place to live. Nice towns don’t have such vandalism.

  8. David M. Greenwald

    “If that’s what you think, why print obvious lies about being held for days unable to contact an attorney?”

    Why not? It is up to the reader to determine to what extent they believe the statement.

    “If you’re not sure, why not check it out before you print obvious lies?”

    I don’t agree that they are obvious lies but if the authorities are unwilling to respond, then that’s on them.

    “Surely the press release had some contact name and number–who was it? “

    What makes you think that, I actually printed the information that was in the press release, there is a name of a group, a google group and no individual name or phone number. I knew who to contact based on past dealings.

  9. David M. Greenwald

    I wanted the SJA to handle matters of these sorts internally not necessarily to forward the complaints to the DA’s office. That said, I will say this, I have no ability to evaluate this incident. However, if it is an act of felony vandalism, then this is an appropriate matter to prosecute. We will see what the actually facts show.

  10. David M. Greenwald

    “Could someone explain whether it is part of SJA procedure to make such notifications after an arrest by the police, and whether that would violated privacy regulations if they did make such a notification after the arrest? “

    I’m unsure. I would prefer not to have students kicked out of school directly or indirectly for acts of civil disobedience, but I’m not sure if the university had an obligation to inform itself of the incident and arrest.

  11. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]“With no access to his contacts nor warning of the arrest, he was unable to contact legal representation. Incommunicado in jail, he was unable to take final exams, and was only bailed out (for $20,000) when concerned friends began looking for him after he had been missing for days,”[/quote]

    This makes not sense to me. Everyone arrested in CA is entitled to a phone call/the right to ask for an attorney upon arrest…

    What bothers me about this entire story is the various accusations against the defendant in question conflated into one tall tale of abuse by the university/law enforcement/DA, to wit: bank blocking, vandalism for graffiti, poor academic performance. It is not clear to me if the defendant is being expelled from school for poor academic performance – or for the graffiti incident, or for the bank blocking incident, or any combination thereof as he is trying to claim. Perhaps the university is just expelling him for poor academic performance. (Seems to me he should have been paying more attention to his grades and studying rather than wasting time protesting if his grades were so poor.) Claims that he was held incognito as if in a third world country are just not credible, since if he was arrested I would assume he was read his Miranda rights and could have demanded representation by an attorney. He is also entitled to a phone call, so could have contacted his family. I agree with JustSaying, that a little fact checking was in order here before this story was written.

  12. JustSaying

    [quote]“If that’s what you think, why print obvious lies about being held for days unable to contact an attorney?”

    “Why not? It is up to the reader to determine to what extent they believe the statement.”[/quote]Because you do a terrible disservice to readers by printing crap you know to be untrue (without even a warning to us).

    Even if you’re somehow just trying even with Michael Cabral’s lack of response by libeling the DA’s office, you shouldn’t take the approach that “it’s up to the reader” to be suspect of everything printed in the [i]Vanguard[/i].

    What a odd caution you suggest: “Don’t expect anything you read here to be true unless you verify it yourself.”

    Why would you print this news release without question when you don’t treat the DA’s news releases that way?

  13. J.R.

    I can imagine the Vanguard angle if SJA affairs had contacted Matzat’s family, friends, and professors.

    University Violates Student’s Privacy Rights

    More seriously though, a pattern is starting to emerge, in my reading of the Vanguard’s coverage, of troubled and vulnerable students who were misled by English Professor Joshua Clover, as well as some of his colleagues. These professors, who should be serving the students and teaching them literature, seem to be willing to sacrifice the future of these students for their own purposes.

    These students might be wise to talk to the DA about admitting their mistakes.

  14. David M. Greenwald

    “University Violates Student’s Privacy Rights”

    Except that being arrested is public information.

    “These students might be wise to talk to the DA about admitting their mistakes. “

    I think it would be wise for you not to be the one to give the students legal advise.

  15. JustSaying

    [quote]JS: “If you’re not sure, why not check it out before you print obvious lies?”

    Davis: “I don’t agree that they are obvious lies but if the authorities are unwilling to respond, then that’s on them.”

    JS: “Surely the press release had some contact name and number–who was it?”

    David: “What makes you think that, I actually printed the information that was in the press release, there is a name of a group, a google group and no individual name or phone number. I knew who to contact based on past dealings.”[/quote]I can only guess that you got no sleep again last night. You have to have known that Thomas Mazat wasn’t jailed for days unable to make phone calls (or that outrage would be your story today), that someone who is jailed has his property stored, etc.

    The problem this leads to is that the discussion ends up focused and wasted on the [i]Vanguard[/i]’s accuracy instead of discussing the merits of Thomas Mazat’s case. I don’t think you’d intentionally go for this as a result of your reporting.

    There’s a big difference between reporting opinions, even outrageous ones, and reporting simple, but outrageous, lies. I don’t believe that you believe in the stand you’re taking today about the [i]Vanguard[/i]’s lack of any obligation to advancing the truth. Get some rest!

    With respect to your question about news releases, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of one without a contact shown. Most likely the first one you’ve received too, right? If you did know who issued this one, why didn’t you ask them about what they said and who the group actually is?

  16. Ryan Kelly

    I met this student after the pepper spraying. He is the student who suffered nerve damage in his dominant arm when his arms were pulled back by the police while being arrested. He could close his fist but could not open it without excruciating pain. He was told that there was nothing he could do, but rest his arm and hand (not use it) and wait for it to heal. He is an Art major, so this effectively stopped him from being able to function effectively in class.

    The Yolo County Sheriff’s Department is not obligated to inform anyone about who it has in custody. Judicial Affairs is not obligated to contact anyone about an arrest either. I imagine that the student could have called an attorney and requested that they let his parents know where he was. Judicial Affairs has a new Director – someone who came over from Human Resources, which may change the mission and direction of their actions. If the student didn’t complete his Fall courses due to his injury and then continue to falter during Winter quarter, I can see that he would be at risk of being dismissed. But if his GPA was over 2.0, then he should have been allowed to stay, but with a plan to get back on track.

  17. JustSaying

    From a Google search of “Occupy UC Davis Antirepression Crew Media”:

    1. The “antirepression crew” appears to be only a week old, pretending to be an independent group, but actually manufactured by the Occupy leadership.

    2. Using the same old talking points, the same old leaders (Professors Brown and Clover) are using the same old techniques in a new wrapper, apparently hoping that media will be snookered into writing a new story.

    3. The news release has been run by the [i]Vanguard[/i], a couple Occupy blogs and a few liberal blogs.

    4. The group includes three “Frequently Asked Questions,” including:

    Q: What can media do to help?
    A: Please help circulate our press releases. Tell our story. Spread the word about our solidarity campaigns.

    So, did our beloved [i]Vanguard[/i] get tricked into running a propaganda piece, filled with outright lies,

  18. crank

    Anyone who has actually ever been in jail knows that unless you have a landline phone number written on your arm or memorized, you are effectively held incommunicado until the cops decide to release you or notify someone. That’s the way it is.

  19. JustSaying

    [quote]J.R. “These students might be wise to talk to the DA about admitting their mistakes.”

    David: “I think it would be wise for you not to be the one to give the students legal advice.”[/quote]Even if it’s suggesting they turn state’s evidence against Clover and Brown to support conspiracy charges in exchange for dropping all charges against the students?

  20. crank

    “JustSaying” is a paternalistic authoritarian like Katehi and her administration. He thinks that students are little sheep or blank slates who must be protected from “outsiders” or anyone whose politics he doesn’t agree with.

  21. David M. Greenwald

    “Anyone who has actually ever been in jail knows that unless you have a landline phone number written on your arm or memorized, you are effectively held incommunicado until the cops decide to release you or notify someone. That’s the way it is.”

    This is an interesting point. And it’s a generational one as well. First of all, how many people’s numbers do you know? Very few would be my answer.

    Second, most students don’t have landlines anymore. I don’t use mine except to fax.

    So that is a more interesting point than one might have thought.

    Someone might say, call your attorney. Who is his attorney? Some might suggest public defender’s office, but you don’t get assigned an attorney until arraignment.

    The obvious lie dissolves until an interesting generational conundrum.

  22. David M. Greenwald

    “Even if it’s suggesting they turn state’s evidence against Clover and Brown to support conspiracy charges in exchange for dropping all charges against the students? “

    All deals are made through attorneys. Once someone has an attorney assigned, the DA can’t speak with them without the attorney present.

  23. Ryan Kelly

    It would be a good suggestion to memorize the phone number of attorney prior to participating in a protest. Also, to demand to contact your attorney, at the time of your arrest. Say it to the police officer and then repeat it often until you are allowed to call.

  24. JustSaying

    [quote]“The obvious lie dissolves into what might be an interesting generational conundrum.”[/quote]Very humorous. Every time I’ve been arrested, there’s been a bail bond company’s number written in Magic Marker on the wall. Sometimes, I’ve used landline numbers; sometimes cellular numbers. Other times, I’ve just sent a fax. Twice, I asked the jailer to look up my lawyer in the yellow pages. Once, I found my girlfriend’s description and number on the men’s room wall, and had her call an attorney for me.

    The only time I’ve ever been held for days, incommunicado, was in a small mountain village jail in Spain, but that was back in the mid-1400s.

  25. E Roberts Musser

    Oh give me a break. In CA you are allowed a phone call. Are you trying to tell me this kid couldn’t remember his parents’ phone number? I find that very hard to believe…

  26. crank

    @ Don Shor

    Don’t think I won’t call folks out for their conspiratorial nonsense and obvious desire to get their political opponents locked up. If Greenwald wants to ban me, fine. I have my own blog.

  27. crank

    @ E Roberts Musser

    What makes you think that calling one’s parents is always an option? Y’all live in a world of idyllic relationships, where every cop is Andy Taylor.

  28. eagle eye

    With all due respect to Elaine and others: Crank is correct. Arrestees are often not allowed access to a phone, and if they are, not to a phone book, and there’s no access to 411 for information. If the arrestee is lucky enough to get to make one phone call, there’s no guarantee the party being called is available to take the call. The jail phone system isn’t like the outside world: the arrestee can’t just leave a message, jail phones don’t work that way. (There’s much written about smuggled phones in jails and prisons, and the above is why inmates need them. Not for crime while in jail, but simply to be able to make normal phone calls. And the cost of a jail/prison phone call is quite expensive; it’s designed/contracted out in order to generate more money for the facility.)
    As to Miranda rights, in some counties, it is the policy of all the law enforcement agencies not to give Miranda rights. In every county I’ve contacted in CA and Oregon and Washington, all law enforcement related groups meet each month and decide policy, such as whether to follow Miranda or not. It’s disgraceful, and unfortunately the media rarely
    tells us what’s really going on.
    With all due respect to Rifkin, I believe this young man was probably so
    traumatized by the earlier incident and INJURY, that he was not functioning normally, his executive function was overcome by emotion.
    It’s really sad.
    If he was jailed during finals, likely his grades would be severely compromised, causing the academic problems.

  29. eagle eye

    Re punishment prior to a finding of guilt:
    If someone is arrested without good cause, nonetheless, they now have an arrest record, they’ll usually have to pay bail to get out anytime soon, usually 10% of the bail amount, and when charges are dropped, they do not get their 10% back from the bail company. Some law enforcement folks find it quite amusing to file a lot of charges to make the bail really high, because it’s instant punishment/harrassment, 10% of the bail amount is down the drain. I.e., the reality is different than TV, Law & Order, etc.

  30. David M. Greenwald

    “Oh give me a break. In CA you are allowed a phone call. Are you trying to tell me this kid couldn’t remember his parents’ phone number? I find that very hard to believe…”

    Elaine: It doesn’t sound like the parents are in the picture, I don’t know details but there are several things that lead me to believe that.

  31. 91 Octane

    right now, we basically have zero facts about the state of the case, whether this person got council or not. whether he was given a phone call – he is spinning it by saying he had his cell taken away means he wasn’t given a phone call…. I don’t know whether he is telling the truth or not, neither does anyone else.

  32. JustSaying

    [quote]“‘JustSaying’ is a paternalistic authoritarian like Katehi and her administration. He thinks that students are little sheep or blank slates who must be protected from “outsiders” or anyone whose politics he doesn’t agree with.”[/quote]I know what you are, but what am I?”

  33. JustSaying

    [quote]“As to Miranda rights, in some counties, it is the policy of all the law enforcement agencies not to give Miranda rights. In every county I’ve contacted in CA and Oregon and Washington, all law enforcement related groups meet each month and decide policy, such as whether to follow Miranda or not. It’s disgraceful, and unfortunately the media rarely tells us what’s really going on.”[/quote]So, David, here’s an example. When you say “Why not (print obvious lies about being held for days unable to contact an attorney)? you unleash this kind of goofy misinformation in the [i]Vanguard[/i].

    Eventually, this will be what the [u]Vanguard[/u]’s reputation for accuracy will be based on. Why not purposely print lies, you wonder?

  34. JustSaying

    [quote]“It doesn’t sound like the parents are in the picture, I don’t know details but there are several things that lead me to believe that.”[/quote]Dang it, David, are you still trying to maintain this fiction that Matzat was held for days without a chance to make any calls? (I thought you’d decided to laugh it off.)

    Now, you’re going to add a little information, piece by piece, to deflect comments about the bigger issues under discussion?

    Did you ask the person involved with the news release–who are you quoting, anyway?–whether Matzat wasn’t allowed to call anyone for several days or [u]just couldn’t think of anyone to call[/u]?

    Are you really just working on his defense when you add on hints at mental health issues?

  35. eagle eye

    “Just Saying” apparently doesn’t know what’s going on in the real world of today’s law enforcement. My entry is not “goofy misinformation”, it is the truth of what goes on in various counties in northern CA.
    I’m very curious whether law enforcement in Yolo County follows Miranda, or not. In Helema B’s case, she asked for an attorney and the Davis police officer got so flustered he kept right on questioning her. The
    police transcript of the interrogation gave the impression that the officer wasn’t tuned in to Miranda rights.
    Law enforcement for whites is not what it used to be – now its the same as it’s been for minorities for the last century.

  36. newshoundpm

    Eagle Eye: “With all due respect to Rifkin, I believe this young man was probably so traumatized by the earlier incident and INJURY, that he was not functioning normally, his executive function was overcome by emotion.
    It’s really sad. If he was jailed during finals, likely his grades would be severely compromised, causing the academic problems.”

    EE, I’ve not been in jail, but you seem to have experience with this. When you make your “one call”, is it required to be to a landline? Are you also telling us that you are not allowed to leave a message? If you aren’t allowed to leave a message and aren’t fortunate enough to catch someone at the other end of the phone, is the arrested simply SOL and unable to contact anyone else?

    I get that someone might not want or be able to call a parent, and if it is true that you either get lucky reaching someone or you don’t with your one call, I could see how someone might not be able to reach anyone. But, I find it hard to believe that someone can’t remember a single number of someone that could be helpful. You don’t know the number of your best friend or a girlfriend? That’s a bit hard to accept. Heck every 5-year old is taught to remember a phone number, and a UCD student can’t do that?

    On the issue of missing exams or any other university work, it would be a very unusual situation for UCD and/or a professor to not be willing or able to allow a make-up if there is a good reason for it. If someone got into an auto accident and was in a the hospital in a coma for a few days, do we really think that someone gets kicked out of UCD or anywhere else for that because they missed an exam? Things can be fixed after the fact. If they aren’t, it’s usually because someone didn’t think there was a good enough excuse.

    Finally, as to your point of this student being so traumitized by the earlier incident and INJURY, it doesn’t appear that he was so injured and traumitized that he couldn’t commit vandalism with a SERIES of graffiti incidents. And, if one tries to make the argument that he didn’t commit the graffiti, given that Clover has indicated that he knows the person who claims to have committed the graffiti, don’t you think he’d be screaming to high heaven that Matzat didn’t do it? Hopefully more will start to see and realize that this Occupy group or whatever they want to be called today, believes that they have the right to vandalize property and to block the entrance to a business. They don’t really care about the rights of others, just THEIR rights.

  37. newshoundpm

    DG, when Clover declined to comment because of the pending legal charges against “him”, is this referring to Clover or to Matzat?

    If Clover is unwilling to identify the student who said he committed the graffiti, that must mean that Clover believes that such graffiti is OK, doesn’t it. Would Clover be legally required to identify the individual who claimed to have committed the graffiti if asked by the police or the courts? Would Clover be legally required to identify someone who told him that he had committed a murder?

    I wonder if Matzat realizes that the reason that he was arrested was likely because Clover in seeking publicity for himself told the Davis Enterprise about the student admitting to the vandalism. Maybe Matzat tried to call Clover and Clover wouldn’t take his call.

    I also don’t believe that DG was tricked into believing any lies or intentionally misleading information.

  38. medwoman

    Newshoundpm

    “You don’t know the number of your best friend or a girlfriend? That’s a bit hard to accept. Heck every 5-year old is taught to remember a phone number, and a UCD student can’t do that? “

    I don’t think that the inability to make a call is as unrealistic as you might think. My first thought when I read this was ” I would be in real trouble”. I rarely have cause to use an attorney and don’t know her number. None of my very small family have land lines. My kids and I communicate exclusively by cell phone as do my partner,friends and I. The only phone number I know is the hospital operator who makes all my outside connections for me and I doubt I would want the first call from jail to go to one of my partners, even those who are close friends. And I am approaching retirement age. From the way my college aged kids use the phone, I can only imagine that this pattern of use is much more prevalent in that age range.

    Before we decide that something is an “obvious lie” it would be good to recall that not everyone organizes their life in the same way and that technology is indeed changing our world in ways that we may not have anticipated and that will doubtless have implications for how institutions operate in the future, but may not have yet caught up with the nuances of that technology.

    Another thing that made me smile when reading this. Mention was made of a phone book. I have not used one in the past four years since I bought my first iphone. My first thought was “what an anachronism”.

  39. David M. Greenwald

    Here’s what it is:

    1. You have to make a collect call
    2. You can’t make a collect call under normal conditions to a cell phone
    3. Most students only have cell phones

    So if you don’t know a landline, you may have difficulty making a call from jail.

    So I agree with medwoman, that before we conclude this is an “obvious lie” we ought to learn more information.

  40. medwoman

    Rich

    I would suggest an entirely different approach to graffiti. If caught, they clean it up themselves.
    Graffiti that is not gang related is unlikely to be associated with violent acts ( as in a political slogan or kids initials)
    and as such ranks in my opinion with deliberate littering which also defaces the environment. Would you want the same punishment for someone who intentionally does not clean up their mess leaving behind food wrappers and beer or soda cans as you would for non gang graffiti? If not, why not ? For me they have the same aesthetic detrimental impact on our environment and should be treated the same. Namely, you put it there, you clean it up.

  41. Edgar Wai

    Does anyone have a picture to the graffiti?

    I had seen graffiti that were about 1 sq. meter big on the sides of Econ building or Young Hall. It was a black spraypaint stencil image of a riot cop holding a baton.

    I did not take pictures. I don’t remember the exact location of the graffiti. I don’t know if these were the graffiti related to this case.

    ——-
    Re: medwoman

    Depending on the cooperation of the offender, there is an escalating scale of consequences. Refusing to stop would justify an more severe consequence, until the consequence is too big for the offense. Different people have a different scale in their mind, but fairness in society relies on a common scale, which we call the law. Actual laws aside, is this your scale:

    1) The offender should take the initiative to clean up without being asked to. To do this, the offender might attach a note saying when he would clean up the graffiti. [b]Issues:[/b] This would effectively give everyone the freedom to alter the cosmetics of any building or property. This does not sound right, how would you address this issue?

    2) The offender should take the initiative to clean up when asked to do so. The meaning is that the staff could put a sign next to the graffiti asking the offender to clean up. In this case, there is no investigation needed, the staff does not need to know who did it. [b]Issues:[/b] This does not address the cost of the staff having to put up a sign, to start a dialog on a wrong medium.

    3) The offender should clean up if caught. [b]Issues:[/b] How is this enforced? Who has a say on how quickly, or to what quality the wall should restored? What should the staff do to graffiti where the offender is not caught? Who should bear the cost of repair the graffiti with no known offender, or a known offender who is not caught?

    4) The offender should pay for the cleaning cost and damages incurred by the specific graffiti connected to the offender. The offended gets to choose a cleaning service, and the offended may start cleaning up before the offender is caught. [b]Issues:[/b] The cleaning cost might be overcharged.

    5) The offender should pay for the cleaning cost and damage incurred by the specific graffiti made by the offender, plus a statistical portion of expenses related to other graffiti that were made thereafter. The logic behind this is that the offender is also responsible for making it look okay for others to make graffiti. [b]Issues:[/b] What if the offender has no money to pay for the damages?

    6) The offender should be arrested in addition to being liable for the damages. This is done because the offender somehow does not stop, the damage kept rising, and the offender refuses or has no capacity to offset that cost. [b]Issues:[/b] What other steps should society do before arresting the offender? What should the general members of a society do before this happens?

  42. E Roberts Musser

    From [url]http://www.legal-aid.org/en/ineedhelp/ineedhelp/criminalproblem/faq/whatcaniexpectifiamarrested.aspx[/url]
    [quote]In many arrests, the police do not attempt to take a statement from the person who is arrested.In such situations, the police may not read the Miranda warnings, since they are only required to do this when they intend to question a suspect.You should be aware that anything that you say in the presence of a police officer might be used against you, even if the Miranda warnings have not been given.Police are even allowed to use statements that they overhear you make during a telephone call, or while you are talking to other prisoners.You should therefore be extremely careful what you say while you are in custody.[/quote]

  43. E Roberts Musser

    In CA, you are permitted three free phone calls within the dialing area. But with the advent of cell phones, I wonder if new legislation needs to be enacted. There is an excellent reference for knowing what your rights are when arrested put out by the CA State Bar that can be accessed at the following link:[url]http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/0/documents/publications/Arrest.pdf[/url]

    I would suggest anyone contemplating civil disobedience read it first, so they are fully prepared for the consequences of their actions.

  44. David M. Greenwald

    Elaine: When my wife went to Texas, they were prepared, they knew they were going to get arrested and planned accordingly. This guy was arrest long after the fact and clearly he was not expecting it and therefore not prepared.

    Also all calls from the jail are recorded unless it is to an attorney.

  45. E Roberts Musser

    To dmg: I agree that this guy was not prepared – but he should have been. Especially now that it looks as if UCD may choose to make arrests long after the civil disobedience takes place. Just common sense…

  46. medwoman

    Edgar Wai

    All good questions and I do not pretend to have answers. I do like the idea of a graduated scale of response. What this kind of approach takes into account is that all “criminals” motives may not be the same.
    As humans we tend to feel that the way we see the world is the “correct” way” and any conflicting idea as not only wrong, but frequently ignorantly or deliberately so. But this does not correspond to reality.So what truly offends Elaine or.Rich may be something that I consider aesthetically pleasing even as I acknowledge that it was not legal for the person to put it there as in graffiti. It may be that some would be willing to take it down if they realized just how offensive it is to others, while some may have as part of their goal, offending others. What I think is a good approach to any decision about penalties for any illegal activity is a cost benefit analysis. I believe very strongly in protection of the innocent members of society and compensation when harm has been done. I do not see the value in punishment for its own sake.

  47. JustSaying

    [quote]“Incommunicado in jail, he was unable to take final exams, and was only bailed out (for $20,000) when concerned friends began looking for him after he had been missing for days….”

    [u]JS[/u]: “Dang it, David, are you still trying to maintain this fiction that Matzat was held for days without a chance to make any calls?”

    [u]medwoman[/u]: “Before we decide that something is an “obvious lie” it would be good to recall that not everyone organizes their life in the same way and that technology is indeed changing our world in ways that we may not have anticipated and that will doubtless have implications for how institutions operate in the future, but may not have yet caught up with the nuances of that technology.”

    [u][u]David[/u][/u]: “So I agree with medwoman, that before we conclude this is an “obvious lie” we ought to learn more information.”[/quote]This discussion about cellular phone technology, surprise at being arrested, parental closeness, etc. has nothing to do with the obvious lie that Matzat was held incommunicado by authorities in the county jail for days. What additional information are you seeking that will change the falsehood of this outrageous charge against county authorities? Have you found it yet?

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