The Davis Dozen, 11 students and one professor who allegedly instigated the closing of the U.S. Bank in the Memorial Union, pled ‘not guilty’ at their second arraignment, Thursday, May 10.
A trial date will be set during a trial setting conference on Friday, June 1. The case was assigned to Judge Reed in Department 6 at 1:30 p.m. at Yolo Superior Court, said Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney, Michael Cabral.
The Davis Dozen were offered a plea deal of 80 hours of community service, should they have pled guilty.
Over 20 counts of obstructing movement in a public place and one count of conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor were charged against them on March 30.
“I think that the DA’s office knows it has a weak case and that is why they floated a plea deal, leaking it to the media well in advance of the court date. I think they wish this case would go away, but that they are being pressured by [Linda P.B. Katehi’s] administration to prosecute the dozen,” said Jonathan Dettman, a UC Davis Ph.D. Candidate in Spanish and Portuguese. Dettman has been in active opposition to UC privatization since the 2009 student-faculty walkout and runs a blog that often comments on the Occupy movement and student protests.
Dettman said that the District Attorney’s decision to continue charge the Dozen is upsetting.
“It’s disappointing that the District Attorney’s office has chosen to continue to press charges at the request of UC Davis administrators who have made many poor decisions regarding the law and its application to protesters,” Dettman said. “In three years of intense political dissent on campus, not a single protester has ever been convicted of a crime, while Katehi and the police have made many mistakes that have injured students and/or caused them to suffer other kinds of hardship, both legal and academic.”
Supporters of the Davis Dozen have been raising money for their legal funds on campus by asking for donations and selling t-shirts.
MUNA SADEK can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.