Defendants in Picnic Day Case Plead Out – No Prison Time, Deferred Judgment

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Protesters in front of the courthouse Tuesday morning

After a morning of intense waiting and negotiations, four of the co-defendants have plead to an agreement that will enable each to avoid prison time and could remove their felony charges within a year.

Antwoine Perry, who was severed from the joint prelim, will have a hearing next Thursday where presumably he’ll be offered a similar deal.

In the resolution, the defendants all plead to a felony count of Penal Code section 69, resisting arrest.  The plea was entered with a deferred entry of judgment.

In a year, if they have no further brushes with the law and complete a restorative justice program, the conviction goes away and will never appear on their record.

Deputy DA Ryan Couzens added an additional count, a single count of misdemeanor PC section 242, simple battery.

They received the minimum $286 fine and one year of informal probation.

In explaining the basis for the offer, Mr. Couzens cited their youth, their lack of criminal records and the early stage of these proceedings.  He said that, with restorative justice, he is optimistic that it will bring a level of understanding to help all parties go forward.

Judge David Rosenberg said he was hopeful that the defendants would be successful and was pleased that the case could resolve itself.

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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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46 thoughts on “Defendants in Picnic Day Case Plead Out – No Prison Time, Deferred Judgment”

  1. Tia Will

    I am pleased for the defendants and feel that this represents a just outcome for them. I am very displeased that at least as far as we know there will be no further repercussions for the police who seem to have committed errors of behavior at least as worrisome as those of the defendants and who seem to have gotten by without assuming responsibility for their part in events, possibly including doctoring their stories.

    1. Antoinnette

      Tia, Seriously?

      Have you listened to any bit of truth??

      Don’t be so easily dissuaded from the facts. Opinions are just that, pay attention to the facts, please.

       

       

  2. Jim Hoch

    Sounds like the prosecution was not that confident. Congrats to the 4, the 5th we’ll need to wait and see.

    With this outcome I would expect some negative repercussions in the DPD.

     

     

        1. David Greenwald

          I disagree with your opinion.  The defendants have a near certain path to no jail or prison time and a clean record by this time next year. And as explained to me the restorative justice process will be equal weight, where the DPD will have acknowledge blame for the handling of the situation.

        1. Howard P

          One precinct heard from… but it was Jim and Tia that it was asked of… or are you ‘running interference’? … sparing them from committing to an answer?… didn’t see you, David, suggesting that there should be repercussions… they did, explicitly and/or implied…

      1. Jim Hoch

        I’m not sure what will happen and I don’t have any changes I want to see. However when something that public falls so far short of expectations there almost certainly will be consequences.

        It’s like when a company reports an increase in earning and the stock falls. The problem in not that earnings went up it’s that everybody expected more. Everyone looks bad here. I don’t believe the defendants are innocent and I don’t believe it went down the way the DPD said either.

        1. Howard P

          On this,

          Everyone looks bad here. I don’t believe the defendants are innocent and I don’t believe it went down the way the DPD said either.

          je d’accord… but it appears that the sentiment is that actual consequences will be one-sided…

  3. Ron

    Regardless of the events that followed, I do hope that police officers continue to enforce laws regarding illegal and inconsiderate blockages of public streets, causing unnecessary inconvenience and costs to others.  (Or, consider shutting down some streets during Picnic Day in the first place.)  If things continue to get out-of-control, it seems likely that Picnic Day might be discontinued, at some point.  And, that would be a shame. (Still thinking about the “other” incident on that day, regarding jumping on an occupied car.)

    Seems like some people come to “party”, while others actually attend events on campus.

  4. PhilColeman

    No matter how you spin it, mitigate it, and close both eyes to very damming evidence revealed by the prosecution, the indisputable fact still remains that the defendants admitted to committing a felony charge of resisting arrest. They saved themselves much misery because a trial–with this thing called cross-examination–would have been a bloodbath.

    Pleading out at the PX stage was the one smart strategy used by the defense. Had they offered a misdemeanor plea to the DA 3 months ago, they would probably have gotten it, and we’d all been spared this circus.

    Don’t forget this incident. It will come back in a different form. But next time, we’re much wiser to this pre-judicial posturing and manipulation.

     

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      They admitted to a charge that goes away in a year when they were facing potential prison time if convicted had the case gone to jury.

  5. Antoinnette

    I guess I spoke too soon in my comment on Enterprise site. I misunderstood what they admitted to in plea deal. I also have to apologize to Ryan Couzens, he did do a good job and I am pleased that at least one officer attacked is content with the outcome. I’m humbled by his response, well-wishing for these kids.

    But I have to also say that I’m proud of them for admitting some guilt. I do hope they are able to sustain from the temptation to do wrong, successfully complete  the requirements of probation and not have this whole ugliness trail them.

    It is The devil who seeks a division amongst people. I don’t say race because I don’t see myself different from any other person. All the same to Christ…

    Perhaps only religiously speaking.

    I wish them well…

     

     

     

  6. Nora Oldwin

    Antoinnette, thank you for this response. While I agree with you that division amongst people is not to be desired, we are who we are because of where we’ve been and what has happened to us. Race is central to that equation. Two books which have really impacted my understanding of  how race plays into real division among people are “The Color Of Law” by Richard Rothstein, and “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander. Check them out if you’re so inclined. You will not be disappointed. But again, thank you for reconsidering what you wrote on the Enterprise site.

    1. Antoinnette

      Thanks you, Nora.

      Yes, I’m well aware of the atrocity of racism and it breaks my heart to think my precious grandchildren may be subjected to it, being bi-racial.

      I will definitely read those books!

       

       

       

  7. WesC

    I think it is pretty safe to say that all the local law enforcement people in the city where these 5 live now know them, where they live, work and hang out.  The perception by law enforcement is more than likely that they got away with assaulting a fellow peace officer. They will be pulled over and aggressively “detained” at every possible opportunity every time they are driving, walking, crossing the street, at a club or party, or anywhere in public.  After being detained enough times their testosterone driven urge to resist and anger at getting detained yet again for what is perceived as no legitimate reason will probably get the better of them and they will get charged with a felony or shot.  Then it’s off to prison or dead.

    The smartest thing any of them could do is go live in a monastery,  move far away to another country, or another part of this country for a year.

    1. Jim Hoch

      “The smartest thing any of them could do is go live in a monastery,  move far away to another country, or another part of this country for a year.”

       

      Given their current legal status I’m sure that’s sage advice.

  8. Tia Will

    Now, as I asked Tia, what DPD repercussions do you expect and/or desire?

    First I would like to point out that I did not need interference run. Because of the remainder of my life, of which I actually do have one, I rarely post on the Vanguard after 6 pm or so. I am happy to address this question.

    I would want to see the following actions on the part of the Davis PD, some of which I believe have already been or are in the process of being addressed:

    1. A complete review of the police actions of that day which should have been done in the same time frame and without ability of the officers to converse so as to coordinate stories. This should be done as part of a review of each officers overall performance.

    2. An assessment of the use of undercover police in the setting of picnic day or other large public gathering.

    3. An assessment of the demeanor with which this crowd was addressed. There is a huge difference between ” Please move back onto the side walk, you are blocking traffic” and “Get the hell out of the way “m………s” as has been captured on tapes of other incidents in addressing party goers”. Lack of audio prevents us from knowing the truth about this critical piece of information in this case.

    4. Some kind of sanction for the information provided that formed the basis for the press release which was clearly inaccurate. That is me being polite since I believe that the police involved lied about what actually occurred.

    5. In a more global sense, I would like to see police and citizens treated more equally when it comes to assessments of their actions. I think that as a society, we tend to lionize our police rather than looking at their actions objectively. On the flip side, there is a tendency to believe  police would not have arrested a suspect if they had not done anything wrong. I believe that these two preconceptions frequently tip the balance in favor of the police regardless of whether or not they are factually in the right.

     

     

    1. Howard P

      Fair answers… for the most part… most are reasonable “lessons learned” leading to growth/change… in my view, those aren’t ‘repercussions’, but won’t quibble with vocabulary…

      David seems to say that anything other than resignations/firings are necessary for “justice”,

      I expect rules changes for the department and the officers to be leaving.

      No ‘probation’ for one year, no ‘record cleared’… got it… simple admission of error/poor judgement, written record of verbal reprimand with no permanent “consequences” is clearly not enough…

      So much for, “Your question is not answerable at this time. It would depend on the findings of the report.”

       

        1. Howard P

          That indeed, is a different ‘kettle of fish’… if substantiated… but most/nearly all the discussion to date has been incident specific… there are good reasons for the “three-strike” approach…

        2. Ron

          David:  If you’re going to make a statement like that, it would be more “fair” to provide specific examples. Otherwise, it appears to be “innuendo”.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            I think I’m okay expressing an opinion and a general basis for that opinion.

        3. Howard P

          No, Ron… David is at least correct in letting the administrative process play out, without violating personal/personnel rights… he actually bent that rule a tad (as you say, ‘innuendo’), but to disclose further, particularly at this point, would be a grievous faux pas, to say the least.

        4. Ron

          Howard:  Point noted.  However, no one should make any definitive statements regarding a “pattern”, unless it is proven. I know nothing about these officers, but David appears to be alluding to some (perhaps unsubstantiated?) information that he has. Why would anyone bring this up, at this point?

      1. David Greenwald

        Hi Ron:

        I think it’s important to clarify the course of the conversation.  First Howard was asking what should the repercussions be, and I mentioned that I expected rules to change for the department and the officers to be leaving.

        He then felt that that was extreme for a single incident, so I clarified, “My understanding is that this is not an isolated incident on the part of the officers but rather a pattern of behavior.”

        We’ll see if this plays out as I have been told.

  9. Ron

    Tia:  “That is me being polite since I believe that the police involved lied about what actually occurred.”

    Honest question – why do you believe they lied?  (I don’t remember the actual press release.)  Could it be that (from the police’ perspective), they were telling the truth as they saw it?

    Hope that others remember that there was a legitimate reason that the crowd was confronted in the first place. (Blocking the street, for an extended period.)

    Also still wondering why one of the individuals arrested was (reportedly) carrying ammunition.

    (Still can’t see your responses, when I’m logged in.  Hope I’m posting this to the correct article.)

  10. Tia Will

    Hi Ron,

    I was unsuccessful in finding the actual press release on line. Perhaps David has a copy in archives and could provide it. In the meantime, I will give you my best recollection of what it said and why I think the officers were less than truthful.

    My recollection is that the press release stated that the police vehicle was immediately surrounded by a hostile crowd. The videos that I have reviewed do not seem to support that view of the event.

    Is it possible that the police were relaying the truth from their perspective ?  Certainly. But I find the totality of circumstances, including the fact that they had time to coordinate stories if so inclined argues against that. I was careful to say in my opinion, secure in the knowledge that my opinion is irrelevant and meaningless except as one perspective.

    Hope that others remember that there was a legitimate reason that the crowd was confronted in the first place. “

    I don’t think that anyone is forgetting that. I also do not think that the police would have approached in nearly the same manner had those blocking the road been a group of senior women laughing and talking during a social event. I believe that we would have very politely been asked to clear the street for our safety. I have evidence of this in that I have on occasion been asked politely to move on Picnic Day and other civic events ( bike races, Christmas parade) when an area is being cleared. Usually it goes something like “We are going to need to clear this area, would you mind moving back ? ” and certainly does not involve driving into close proximity, yelling or cursing.

    still wondering why one of the individuals arrested was (reportedly) carrying ammunition.”

    I’m still wondering why you think this is relevant.

    1. David Greenwald

      Advisory: Two Davis Police Officers Assaulted by Picnic Day Crowd
      Dear Davis Vanguard,
      On April 22, 2017, at approximately 3:30 P.M., three Davis Police Officers working on Picnic Day were traveling on Russell Blvd in an unmarked police vehicle when the officers encountered a large group of people in the roadway who were blocking traffic. One officer was wearing police attire with visible badge and the other two were wearing plainclothes, although they had clearly displayed badges on their chests and visible police weapons. At the time, Russell Blvd was nearly gridlocked due to Picnic Day related traffic and many large parties occurring in the area. Due to the obvious safety hazards the group presented, the officers pulled near the group to take action.Before the officers could act, the unmarked police vehicle was surrounded by a large hostile group and several subjects began to yell threats at the police officers in the car. One subject quickly moved to simulate he was pulling a gun on the officers. As the officers exited the car and began to identify themselves as the police, two officers were immediately physically attacked by multiple suspects and beaten on the ground. While on the ground, the officers were kicked, punched in the head, and one officer was struck with a bottle on the side of his head. As the officers were being assaulted they could see people in the crowd filming the attack with their cell phones.The surrounding crowd was hostile and presented a serious threat to the officers, who were easily identifiable by their displayed badges and attire. The officers were able to fight back and call for help. Two injured officers were taken to the Sutter Davis emergency room for treatment. One suffered injuries to his eye and face and the other was treated for a bleeding head wound caused by a bottle.

      1. Ron

        David:  Thanks.  Just saw the re-post, of the press release.

        I’ll ask you, as well.  Do you view this as a “lie”, or a matter of “perspective”?  (Or, containing possible errors that don’t rise to the level of a “lie”?)

        “Visible police weapons”. (Just thinking that it’s fortunate for everyone that those weren’t used, and/or taken away during the fight.)

        1. David Greenwald

          Lie means that it was intentionally fabricated.  I think I would prefer to state it was inaccurate and from the start it didn’t make a lot of sense.

          They weren’t surrounded by the crowd.  It wasn’t really a crowd of poeple rather than a few individuals involved.  There was a verbal confrontation that led to the physical confrontation.  The gun gesture is questionable at best.  And I’m not convinced that the officer was hit with a bottle.

          The reason you can’t find it on the web is they actually took it down – so evidently they agree it’s problematic.

  11. Ron

    Tia:  Thanks for the response.  I’ll go ahead and respond, as well.

    Tia:  “My recollection is that the press release stated that the police vehicle was immediately surrounded by a hostile crowd. The videos that I have reviewed do not seem to support that view of the event.”

    I tend to agree.  However, it appears that they were immediately confronted by some angry individuals, while they were still in the vehicle.  (Surrounded?  No.  But again, I don’t view this as an outright “lie”.)

    Tia:  “Is it possible that the police were relaying the truth from their perspective ?  Certainly. But I find the totality of circumstances, including the fact that they had time to coordinate stories if so inclined argues against that.”

    Again, I’m not seeing evidence that they “lied”.  Seems like you’re acknowledging this, as well (while simultaneously conjecturing on a “coordination” of stories).

    Me:  “Hope that others remember that there was a legitimate reason that the crowd was confronted in the first place. “

    Tia:  I don’t think that anyone is forgetting that. I also do not think that the police would have approached in nearly the same manner had those blocking the road been a group of senior women laughing and talking during a social event. I believe that we would have very politely been asked to clear the street for our safety. I have evidence of this in that I have on occasion been asked politely to move on Picnic Day and other civic events ( bike races, Christmas parade) when an area is being cleared. Usually it goes something like “We are going to need to clear this area, would you mind moving back ? ” and certainly does not involve driving into close proximity, yelling or cursing.”

    I think there are lots of people who have “forgotten” (or have actively misconstrued) the reason that the police initially confronted the crowd.  (In fact, I couldn’t disagree with you more, regarding this point.)

    You could be (generally) right, regarding a difference in approach (between different groups).  However, I sincerely doubt that a group of senior women would have blocked a main street for an extended period, and then immediately engage in an apparent verbal and physical confrontation with those inside a vehicle attempting to use that street.  (Of course, we don’t know exactly what was said, at what point, or by whom.  Nor do we know exactly how the physical confrontation started, whether or not the police identified themselves, etc.)

    Me  “still wondering why one of the individuals arrested was (reportedly) carrying ammunition.”

    Tia:  “I’m still wondering why you think this is relevant.”

    It’s not particularly relevant to the investigation of the police officers.  However, do you think there are very many regular citizens walking around Davis with ammunition for some legitimate purpose?  In general, might it cause you to question or wonder about the activities of someone doing so?

    Seriously, no one is troubled or concerned by this?

    In general, it seems that some (maybe not you) are more than willing to accept the point of view of those arrested, but are not willing to do so when it comes to officers attempting to uphold the law on behalf of everyone (albeit with probable errors).  I truly fail to understand this perspective.

    I view this incident entirely differently, compared to some of the other videos involving police around the country.

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