Picnic Day Preliminary Hearing Resumes as Activists Call for Dismissal of Charges

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Illustration courtesy of Kate Mellon-Anibaba

(From Press Release) – The preliminary hearing continues here Tuesday of the “Picnic Day 5” as their lawyers argue the five youths of color are not guilty as charged, and instead are victims of a brutal assault by undercover City of Davis police officers at last University of California, Davis Picnic Day.

The hearing begins at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday/Aug. 29/Yolo Superior Court (Dept. 14). A solidarity demonstration begins at 7:45 a.m. to demand Yolo District Attorney Jeff Reisig drop all charges.

Background: On April 22, 2017 three undercover Davis police officers attacked the Picnic Day Five – Alex Craver, Antwoine Perry, Iszir Price, Angelica Reyes, and Elijah Williams – all people of color ages 19 to 22. Officers drove an unmarked van into the middle of a crowd of young people and, without identifying themselves, violently attacked peaceful UC Davis Picnic Day participants.

The Davis Police Department later lied about what happened, claiming the officers were surrounded by a “large hostile group” and then hired racist former Sacramento Sheriff John McGuiness to investigate the incident. Under pressure, McGuiness stepped down from this role but the city chose his replacement (McGregor Scott) with the same lack of transparency that lead to hiring McGuiness.

Yolo County DA Reisig is trying to send these five young people to prison for “assaulting a peace officer” and “resisting an executive officer,” when in reality the youth were attacked by the undercover police. Supporters are demanding that DA Reisig drop the charges immediately.

People everywhere are being encouraged to immediately contact DA Reisig and Davis Mayor Robb Davis and demand the charges against the Picnic Day Five be dropped and the city reimburse them for lost wages and other costs because of the Davis PD’s violent and racist attacks. Charges should instead be brought against their assailants, Officers Sean Bellamy, Ryan Bellamy, and Steve Ramos.

Jennifer Andrade, Alex Craver’s mother stated to a Justice for Picnic Day 5 about the case, “They weren’t blocking the street. They weren’t doing anything. They were a group of kids of color. They weren’t starting trouble.”



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25 thoughts on “Picnic Day Preliminary Hearing Resumes as Activists Call for Dismissal of Charges”

  1. Keith O

    without identifying themselves, violently attacked peaceful UC Davis Picnic Day participants.

    We don’t know that the officers never identified themselves, and who violently attacked who?  We also don’t know that they were “peaceful UC Davis Picnic Day participants.”

     

    racist former Sacramento Sheriff John McGuiness 

    So the making of one questionable possibly uninformed statement on a radio show makes one a racist?

     

    in reality the youth were attacked by the undercover police

    In who’s reality?  We don’t know all the facts yet.

     

    Davis PD’s violent and racist attacks

    Why is it being called racist attacks?  There were people of all color in that crowd.

     

    David, who wrote this one-sided press release which I feel contains many false accusations?

     

     

     

     

     

     

    1. David Greenwald

      “So the making of one questionable possibly uninformed statement on a radio show makes one a racist?”

      What does make one a racist? It wasn’t just one statement, btw.

      1. Keith O

        What were the other racist statements he has made besides ” “If you look at certain groups within our broad population, for example, African-Americans in this country did much, much, much, much better before the Civil Rights Act. Yeah, believe it or not, they did.”

        That’s his opinion, maybe misinformed but that alone doesn’t make him a racist.

        1. David Greenwald

          Since racist is a subjective term, I think your defense falls short here.  He made a number of strange comments on his radio show I reviewed before the city rights one, one where he defended racial profiling because people who listen to music most of them them young black men, were more likely to commit crimes in his view.

        2. Keith O

          Since racist is a subjective term, I think your defense falls short here. 

          Yes it’s very subjective and liberals tend to use the term all too easily.

    2. David Greenwald

      “David, who wrote this one-sided press release which I feel contains many false accusations?”

      I don’t know specifically but it was put out by the group protesting the arrests and treatment of the defendants.

    3. David Greenwald

      “Why is it being called racist attacks? There were people of all color in that crowd.”

      While I personally would not characterize it as such, what does the fact that there were people of “all color” in the crowd have to do to mitigate the fact that the people who ended up engaged with the police were all African-American with one Latina woman?

      1. Keith O

        Maybe it’s because they were the only ones who engaged with the cops.  To say the attacks were racist one would have to presume that the cops stepped out of that van and purposely hunted down the four blacks and one Latina woman without provocation.

    4. David Greenwald

      “We don’t know that the officers never identified themselves, and who violently attacked who? We also don’t know that they were “peaceful UC Davis Picnic Day participants.””

      It has been alleged that they did not identify themselves. I don’t think that statement is a huge leap. And the “peaceful UC Davis Picnic Day participants” is fairly accurate, there was no sign of violence in the crowd prior to the arrival of the police. So I think the release is on relatively safe ground here.

      1. Keith O

        You are forgetting that you have a couple of commenters on your blog who say there are neutral witnesses who will present a much different picture than is trying to be presented here.

  2. Tia Will

    You are forgetting that you have a couple of commenters on your blog who say there are neutral witnesses who will present a much different picture than is trying to be presented here.”

    What is interesting to me is that you are more willing to cede “neutrality” to the at best second hand information yet to be presented by witnesses on the word of “a couple of commenters”.

    In the same spirit that you challenge the assessment of Sheriff McGuiness as “racist” why would you assume that witnesses whose identity we do not even know would be “neutral”. Could it perhaps be because you believe that they are going to provide a story line more in keeping with your preconceived notions ?

     

    1. Keith O

       “a couple of commenters”.

      Do you know who the couple of commenters are?

      Phil Coleman whom I find to be a very knowledgeable and respected and

      Antoinnette, who used to work for the Vanguard.

       

      Could it perhaps be because you believe that they are going to provide a story line more in keeping with your preconceived notions ?

      I have no preconceived notions, do you?  I’m willing to let it all play out in court, are you?

      1. David Greenwald

        I would just like to call into question what you consider to be “neutral accounts.”  Phil Coleman is in fact a retired police chief from Davis and Anoinnette’s account comes directly from the arresting officers.  Not that they are wrong, only that neutral is not accurate here.

  3. Jim Hoch

    I have no opinion on the merits of this case. I do believe that this has become enough of an object of public interest that anything less than a full public trial will not serve.

  4. John Hobbs

    “I feel like I’ve poured over existing video enough to have a good picture of what happened.”

    Me too, I wish there was audio, but the way the the van sweeps wide to block the crowd and the fact that the cops come out of the doors swinging on what was a peaceful group two seconds earlier can only lead one to believe that this was a blitz attack by the police.

  5. Michael Bisch

    Demagoguery is an appeal to people that plays on their emotions and prejudices rather than on their rational side. Demagoguery is a manipulative approach — often associated with dictators and sleazy politicians — that appeals to the worst nature of people. ” -vocabulary.com

     

    From my perspective, the incident and its aftermath has gone from awful to worse. Much of it appears agenda, ideology & anger driven prejudicial demagoguery (in this instance anonymous no less). The only glimmer of light I see is sooner or later we will hit rock bottom and then can start to heal and recover. I look forward to those seeking to close wounds and to healing the damages done eventually gaining the upper hand. Meanwhile, it appears we are in for more bloodletting.

  6. Tia Will

    Phil Coleman whom I find to be a very knowledgeable and respected and

    Antoinnette, who used to work for the Vanguard.”

    First, I was not referring to the commenters here. I was referring to the unknown identity and neutrality of the witness/s. That was why I made the reference to “second hand”. It matters not to me if Phil Coleman or Antoinette both of whose opinions I respect, whether or not I happen to agree, believe the witness to be neutral. I certainly do not know that to be fact.

    “I’m willing to let it all play out in court, are you?”

    Yes, as I have stated several times previously. Although I believe that I want it for reasons that probably differ from yours. I believe that this event and the sequelae have been handled very poorly from the moment the van made the U turn, through the arrests with differential treatment of those charged from the police whose actions seem equally questionable as witnessed by changes already made by the police, to the charges brought. Although I appreciate that this is very difficulty for those charged, I see this trial as an opportunity to have a thorough public airing of the relevant police and judicial processes which I believe failed both these individuals and our community as a whole.

     

    1. Keith O

      First, I was not referring to the commenters here.

      Tia Will, let’s analyze what you actually wrote:

      What is interesting to me is that you are more willing to cede “neutrality” to the at best second hand information yet to be presented by witnesses on the word of “a couple of commenters”.

      I simply pointed out that those commenters are to be respected, not just some anonymous troll posting on here.

  7. David Greenwald

    Update from today.  Antoinne Perry let his attorney go and ended up getting severed from the prelim.

    Then this afternoon the Deputy Public Defender had a family emergency so they ended court for the day at 2 pm.

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