Friday, December 2, 2011

Hundreds remain jailed after Occupy LA raid

About 240 people remained in jail Thursday night after an LAPD operation to clear the Occupy L.A. encampment around City Hall in Downtown Los Angeles, police said. On Thursday, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges against 19 people arrested. Their bail was set at between $5,000 and $20,000 depending on the charges, according to the City Attorney’s Office.

LAPD's raid the Occupy L.A. encampment early Wednesday resulted in the arrest of 292 people, primarily for failing to disperse from the area around 1st and Broadway once police declared the gathering an “unlawful assembly.”

One of those arraigned, Tyson Header, 35, of Valencia, allegedly spit on an officer and resisted arrest, and was charged Thursday with three counts: battery on a peace officer, assault on a peace officer and resisting arrest. Another person was arrested for interfering with police operations, said Officer Karen Rayner, a spokeswoman for the LAPD.

So far about 50 people have been released from custody after being arraigned, posting $5,000 bail, or for medical reasons, Rayner said.

Men are being held in the Downtown Metropolitan Detention Center. Women are detained in the Valley Jail Section in Van Nuys, Rayner said.

“Tomorrow will be the big day, because most of them have to be released, arraigned or bailed out,” she said. A person must be arraigned within 48 hours of their arrest or otherwise released.

As of Thursday evening, the City Attorney’s Office had received 150 arrest reports for filing review from the LAPD, said Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the City Attorney’s Office.

Mike Prysner, 28, got out of jail Wednesday night after posting a $5,000 bail and spending 22 hours in a two-person cell at the downtown jail. Prysner, an activist who works for ANSWER Coalition, is also an Iraq war veteran who served in the U.S. Army for about four years and was honorably discharged in 2005.

He has been a part of the Occupy movement since the early planning stages for the L.A. encampment and has traveled to, and helped organize, encampments in Washington D.C. and Chicago.

“There’s only one narrative out in the press right now,” Prysner said. “That narrative is from the mayor, the LAPD, and the city, which is nothing but self-congratulatory, patting themselves on the back, saying the LAPD is reformed and this is a great example of how well they are treating people…but people who were inside, people who experienced it will tell a very different story.”

Prysner said he witnessed many people being beaten by police batons during the raid on their encampment. He said everyone was taken into custody and put in zip ties with their hands behind their backs and loaded into buses to go to the jail. It was about seven hours before his hands were freed, he said.

“Once we got booked, we found out we were all slapped with a $5,000 bail,” Prysner said. “This is preposterous, because under California law misdemeanors are always released on their own recognizance, which means no bail. It’s near impossible for most of these people to pay.”


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