By Ned Meiners
San Francisco, CA – He was attending a Black Lives Matter protest – protesting the one year anniversary of the death of Breonna Taylor when Yusuf Labib spotted a San Francisco Police Officer with a Blue Lives Matter shirt. After questioning him, the situation escalated.
Labib, a San Francisco resident was arraigned on Thursday at the Hall of Justice on charges of assaulting a Police Officer with an unlikely weapon: a laser pointer. He faces charges of assault likely to produce great bodily injury.
However, his attorney, San Francisco Public Defender Gabriella Rodezno believes they lack probable cause to even charge him with a crime. During the hearing she requested the court place him in constructive custody, allowing her to file a verbal 991 motion.
It is alleged that Labib assaulted San Francisco Police Officer Jesse Rivera with force likely to create great bodily injury with a laser pointer. In Rodenzo’s words, “No such injury occurred.”
“This occurred during a Black Lives Matter protest in which the officers were wearing Blue Lives Matter masks. Mr. Labib was participating in an anniversary memorial for Breona Taylor who was killed last year.” Rodenzo stated.
She further elaborated that, in fact, the Police were the aggressors in this altercation. “In this particular case Mr. Labib was violently attacked by S.F.P.D. This was during a protest. He has absolutely no criminal record whatsoever.”
Prosecutor Samantha Persaud countered that if the defense believes there is insufficient probable cause to charge Labib, they should put it in writing in a 991 motion.
The prosecution requested that the court grant a no weapons condition, specifically in regards to a laser pointer, during the duration of the case. This brought up the question of whether or not a laser pointer constitutes a weapon.
Judge Dekreon agreed with the defense in this instance. “I agree [the no weapons condition] should be more specific. You shouldn’t possess a laser pointer, and that would be the order until we come back for pretrial conference and we can review the facts.”
Rodenzo was optimistic. “I have great contact with him. He has family support; He has community support. I don’t believe there will be any further issue with Mr. Labib. I don’t believe a no weapons clause is warranted at this point.”
The defense declared they would move forward quickly on a no time waiver. Pretrial hearing is scheduled for April 12, with trial set to begin April 16.
The Vanguard will have additional information about this story.
Ned Meiners is a Legal Studies student at City College San Francisco. Originally from Maine, he currently resides on Bernal Hill in San Francisco.
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