Gaza war protesters released by San Francisco DA pending further investigation

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Thursday, April 18, 2024
Gaza war protesters released by SF DA pending further investigation
The 26 Gaza war protestors who were arrested for their alleged involvement in Monday's shutdown of the Golden Gate Bridge were released.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The 26 Gaza war protestors who were arrested for their alleged involvement in Monday's shutdown of the Golden Gate Bridge were released.

"But that does not mean that we are not going to pursue charges," said San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins.

She says there is a tight timeframe to make a charging decision when a suspect is booked on a felony. Therefore, all 26 were released, pending further investigation. The charges include unlawful assembly, resisting an officer, false imprisonment and conspiracy to commit a crime -- which is a possible felony.

"That requires us to have specific evidence related to each one of the 26 people. We need video evidence. We need statement from people impacted by the protests, who were witnesses to what occurred," Jenkins said.

RELATED: Calls for more penalties for Golden Gate Bridge protesters; 26 arrested not yet charged

Jenkins is also asking for those who were stuck in the traffic to come forward to help with the investigation -- adding, that they may be entitled to restitution.

Rachel Shapiro McKim says she is considering it. She was stuck in the Golden Gate Bridge closure traffic for almost 4.5 hours. She was headed to San Francisco with frozen stem cells that she needed to be injected.

"Not only was I inconvenienced, it also effected other doctor appointments I had for my children. But my bigger concern is for people with more life threatening injuries, or doctors. I was just standing next to (one), waiting to cross the bridge, who weren't in the hospital to see their patients," McKim said.

In the East Bay, Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price is investigating protesters who shut down northbound I-880 in Oakland.

In a statement to ABC7 News, Price writes, in part, "Our prosecutors are standing by and prepared to receive case information for individuals arrested during that incident. While my office supports the essential right to protest, it is important to note that public safety should never be compromised."

RELATED: Here's what protesters could face for blocking off Bay Area freeway, bridge

The group A15, one the protest organizers, says Monday's protest was to "target the global economy."

They write: "Without the billions of dollars in military aid provided to Israel by the United States government... the massacre of over 30,000 people in Gaza would not have been possible."

The Arab Resource and Organizing Center, or AROC, which has organized Gaza-related protests over the past few months, was not involved in Mondays action. But, in a statement to ABC7 News, it calls the legal claims to be, "absurd, ridiculous and distracting."

AROC Executive Director Lara Kiswani, states, "Jenkins' criminalization of dissent run disturbingly parallel to the calls for violence against protestors being made by the far-right."

Jenkins has one year to file misdemeanor charges, two years for a felony.

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