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Crime

John Quigley and Julia Posin Trial: Los Angeles DA Steve Cooley Pushing Jail Time for Enviros Who Tried to Save 249 Oak Trees

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Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley apparently is committed to jailing enviros John Quigley and Julia Posin, who sat in trees in the Arcadia woodlands north of Los Angeles to stop the county Department of Public Works from bulldozing 249 oaks and sycamores so the county can fill the grove with enough dirt to fill the Rose Bowl.

Read the story by Mark Cromer of their prosecution, and the bizarre actions of Sheriff Lee Baca's deputies, here. Quigley and Posin face arraignment Wednesday, March 23.

And see video, via Arcadia Patch, on the next page, in which Baca's deputies closed the grove and local streets to journalists by calling it a "crime scene," thus preventing anyone's live-documenting of the destruction. Will Sheriff Baca be the one in court, if sued for the First Amendment violations on oak tree destruction day?

The most fascinating thing about the video is that videographer Jerry Day was left to very ably argue the First Amendment with an armed deputy who wrongly claimed he could "dictate" the public's access to the unfolding news event.

Day was baffled and stunned that reporters for major news outlets such as KTLA and ABC allowed the bizarre shutdown of a major news event by poorly informed Sheriff's Deputies.

Day passionately tried to try to talk his way past the wrongly-instituted "crime scene" yellow tape, citing chapter and verse from the law about why the deputies were stepping on the public's rights.

Day later told Arcadia Patch reporter John Stephens: "These guys.. ABC, KTLA... they should be the ones saying this. The media has become so complacent around here that they just do what they're told."

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