It's a predictable ending to the mass arrest of everyone who happened to be standing near last month’s Dolores Hill Bomb skateboard rally — the DA is dropping the charges against all but two of the 34 adults arrested in the roundup.
Last month’s iteration of the very rowdy annual skateboard event Dolores Hill Bomb ended with the brute-force mass arrest of 83 minors and 34 adults for failing to disperse. (Eyewitnesses say that most of the “adults” were 18 or 19). And pretty much all of those 83 minors saw their charges dropped a week later, as parents complained many were just in the wrong place at the wrong time when SFPD corralled and arrested the whole lot in the area.
And now the same applies to the 34 adults who were arrested, as Mission Local reports DA Brooke Jenkins just announced she’s dropping the charges against 32 of the 34 adults arrested that Saturday evening.
Addressing vandalism & property crime is a top priority because of the deep impact that these types of crimes have on our city & businesses.@SFPD investigations into these crimes allegedly committed during the Hill Bomb event are ongoing.— Brooke Jenkins 謝安宜 (@BrookeJenkinsSF) August 4, 2023
My full statement: pic.twitter.com/pn9skswz17
In the Friday afternoon statement seen above, the DA’s office says “the misdemeanor citations presented to my office for inciting a riot and failure to disperse are being discharged because we can not prove beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury the guilt of any specific individuals cited.”
The statement adds that “The SFPD had probable cause to act to disperse the group, which had been declared to be an unlawful assembly. But, the evidence does not clearly show which specific individuals were inciting a riot, heard the dispersal orders, and refused to comply with dispersal orders.”
An investigation continued Sunday after the annual Saturday night Dolores Hill Bomb skateboarding event led to what S.F. police called a near riot, with nearly 100 people cited or arrested for allegedly assaulting police and trashing Muni trains. https://t.co/0MT19RcBfL— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) July 10, 2023
Jenkins's statement indicates that the two still facing charges are being investigated for vandalism, and the Chronicle notes this possibly has something to do with the tagged-up J-Church car seen above. “There is no excuse for the vandalism that occurred to city and public property that day and our office is committed to holding individuals who commit vandalism and property crimes accountable,” the DA’s statement says.
A few dozen folks are sitting on the ground at 17th Street. Police are waiting on “paddy wagons” to come. pic.twitter.com/7NESAtKvlo— Aldo Toledo (@aldot29) July 9, 2023
But there still may be bigger legal ramifications beyond those two remaining suspects still facing vandalism charges. Mission Local also reminds us that “dozens” of parents are threatening a federal civil rights lawsuit over the mass arrest, as some minors sustained injuries, were zip-tied for hours, and many were forced to urinate on themselves as they remained in custody for hours.
“We are definitely proceeding with a lawsuit for civil rights violations, which we are planning to file as a class action so that it potentially includes everyone that was arrested on 17th Street,” attorney Rachel Lederman told Mission Local. “The police department created the class by sealing everyone into that block so that they were all treated as a mass, without any individual basis for each arrest as the constitution requires.”
That said, the 32 adults who saw their charges dropped are technically not 100% out of the woods yet. As the Chronicle points out, Jenkins’s office could refile any charges within a one-year statute of limitations.
Image: @penkadilla via Twitter