Protesters appear in court; DA's office yet to receive cases from CHP

Laura Anthony Image
ByLaura Anthony KGO logo
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Protesters appear in court; DA's office yet to receive cases from CHP
About 100 people who were arrested in an anti-police brutality protest in Berkeley last month appeared in court Tuesday but charges haven't been filed against them.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- It's been a month since more than 200 people poured onto a Bay Area freeway and shut it down. The incident came during several nights of anti-police brutality protests centered in Berkeley.

Those people were arrested by the California Highway Patrol and many of them showed up for court Tuesday only to find out, no charges have been filed.

It was a protest that blocked Interstate 80 for hours,

The CHP arrested more than 200 people on Dec. 8 in both Berkeley and Emeryville, but a month later, virtually no charges have been filed.

"A number of the people who are here today, who were called into court today do not have charges and do not even have a police report filed about them," said Ronald Cruz, the protestors' attorney. "The arrest was completely ridiculous."

Shavontae Williams was arrested that night and booked into the Alameda County Jail in Dublin, where she says she spent 16 hours.

Tuesday morning, she was among 100 demonstrators who packed a courthouse hallway in Oakland for a scheduled hearing.

"They're not even police reports about me, which is ridiculous because I spent about 16 hours doing something for absolutely no reason," Williams said.

A spokesperson for the Alameda County District Attorney's office said no charges have been filed because the district attorney has yet to receive any police reports from the arresting agency, the California Highway Patrol.

"We had 210 people arrested. It takes time to process all those reports, insure that all the identities are confirmed before we can send those reports on," Sean Wilkenfield of the CHP. "So, we want to make sure we do a thorough investigation before we sent it on to the district attorney."

"All they can do is hang these charges over us, but you know what, that's not going to stop us," Monica Smith, one of the protesters' attorney said.

Assuming the CHP produces its reports, the district attorney's office has one year to press charges.