Hamasaki In The News

Blacklisted: How The Oakland Police Department Discriminates Against Rappers and Music Venues (April 26, 2017)

Last year, Philthy Rich's hometown release-show for Hood Rich 4 was supposed to be a victory lap. The staunchly independent local rapper's previous album, Real Niggas Back in Style, climbed to No. 5 on Billboard's "Heatseekers" chart, and Philthy seemed poised to clinch that distinctly Bay Area rap-game ambition: local empire, national reputation.

But on the day before his November 18 gig at downtown nightclub Vinyl, venue owner Oscar Edwards says an Oakland cop visited him personally to tell him that Philthy's show, advertised for weeks, was a "problem."

Abruptly, Edwards and Philthy called it off. It was a familiar situation: Edwards said the department edits and censors local hip-hop lineups "all the time."

For Philthy, it was a costly disappointment. He'd flown in three guest performers, put them up in hotels, and chartered a van with a driver and a security guard to bring everyone to the club. Philthy's manager, PK (for Prashant Kumar) estimated the loss to be approximately $10


Gang violence shifts from Richmond streets to Interstate 80 (August 11, 2016)

RICHMOND — A violent gang feud historically fought on city streets has expanded to one of the Bay Area's busiest freeways, Interstate 80, where 70 million motorists drive each year, law enforcement sources say.

Freeway shootings are not new to the East Bay, but this latest run — two dead and others injured, two seriously, in seven shootings since November — suggests gang members are choosing the busy commuter route to settle conflicts.

"The gangs are feuding, and some of them are taking it onto the freeway," Richmond police Lt. Felix Tan said this week.
Law enforcement sources believe the freeway is a preferred venue for the crimes because there are fewer witnesses and cameras, easy getaways, and targets may be less aware of their surroundings.

"Folks are being followed as they leave one place where someone has identified them. They sit on the individual and follow them on the freeway," said DeVone Boggan, who as the head of Richmond's Office of Neighborhood Safety has worked closely with local gang members.


Wired Should Body-Cam Footage Always Go Public? It’s Complicated 2015 (July 31, 2015)

On Wednesday, officials in Hamilton County, Ohio released body-camera footage showing the shooting death of a 43-year-old unarmed black man, Samuel Dubose. Dubose had been pulled over by a white University of Cincinnati police officer, Ray Tensing, on July 19, for driving without a front license plate.

The video was released at a news conference during which Hamilton County prosecutor Joseph Deters announced that a grand jury had returned an indictment against Tensing, on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter. “This is without question a murder,” Deters said. “He didn’t do anything violent towards the officer… And [Tensing] pulled out his gun and intentionally shot him in the head.” Deters also called it: “a senseless, asinine shooting.”


A Lawyer Gave Us the Blunt Truth About Sandra Bland's Arrest (July 25, 2015)

On July 10, Sandra Bland was pulled over by Texas state trooper Brian Encina, for failing to signal a lane change. On July 13, while in police custody as a result of said stop, she was found dead.

Officials from the Waller County jail where she was being held say she hanged herself in her cell. Her family disputes the claim, saying Bland wouldn’t have killed herself. She had recently landed a new job at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University, and was in good spirits.

For many, the details of Bland’s death don’t seem to add up. Waller County’s long history of racial tension only complicates the matter—raising the question of whether Bland was a victim of discriminatory practices.

On Tuesday, dashcam video of the July 10 stop was released. Following the release of the footage, ATTN: spoke with California-based attorney John Hamasaki for his particular analysis of the video from the viewpoint of a criminal defense lawyer. Hamasaki specializes in defending those who are facing criminal charges or an investigation; he has built his practice with a focus on defending constitutional protections in criminal cases implicating civil rights and civil liberties.


Rap's Poetic License: Revoked (April 29, 2015)

East Bay prosecutors regularly use rap lyrics and music videos as evidence in criminal proceedings, a tactic that undermines a defendant's right to a fair trial and continues the legacy of stifling Black expression.

In 2004, the late Andre Hicks, better known as the revered Vallejo rapper Mac Dre, issued Ronald Dregan: Dreganomics. The album cover bore a faux-campaign poster, replete with a few clichés of political boosterism: Dregan's wide grin, a thumbs-up, and a billowing American flag. On the title track, Dre, in character, caricatured Ronald Reagan's hollow rhetoric and added a cheeky hook: Follow me now, let me lead the way/If you gonna believe in something, believe in Dre ... /Royal, spoiled, it's the American way.


Distracted Driving and the Risks of Ride-Hailing Services Like Uber (December 21, 2014)

It Can Wait. The buzz phrase, popularized by AT&T in a public service campaign, urges drivers to show restraint with their phones.

But a growing number of drivers who make their living behind the wheel can’t wait. These are the drivers for Uber and its competitors, including taxi services, who, to MAKE MONEY, must respond nearly instantly to their smartphones, without regard to road conditions or safety.

When a service call comes in from Uber — by way of a loud beeping on the phone — a driver typically has 15 seconds to tap the phone to accept the fare. That can mean looking at the phone, seeing how far away the customer is and then making a decision. Failure to respond in 15 seconds means the fare goes to a different driver. In some cities, including New York, failure to respond to several calls in a row can lead to Uber’s temporarily suspending a driver.


Former Uber driver charged in girl’s crosswalk death in S.F. (December 9, 2014)

San Francisco prosecutors charged a former Uber driver with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in connection with a crash in San Francisco last year that killed a 6-year-old girl.

Syed Muzaffar, 57, of Union City surrendered Thursday after the charge was filed and posted $50,000 bail. He is to appear Wednesday at the Hall of Justice in San Francisco The crash that killed Sofia Liu happened at 8 p.m. Dec. 31, when Muzaffar, driving a Honda sport utility vehicle, failed to yield to the girl, her mother and her 4-year-old brother as they crossed Polk Street in a crosswalk near Civic Center, police and prosecutors said.

Muzaffar had a green light and was making a right turn from westbound Ellis Street to northbound Polk Street in the SUV when he hit the three in the crosswalk, authorities said. Sofia’s mother and brother were hurt but survived.


Former Uber driver charged in death of 6-year-old girl (December 9, 2014)

A former Uber driver whose car struck and killed a 6-year-old girl as she walked on a San Francisco crosswalk faces a manslaughter charge, authorities said Tuesday.

Syed Muzaffar, 58, surrendered last week and will be arraigned Wednesday on a misdemeanor charge of vehicular manslaughter, said Stephanie Ong Stillman, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco district attorney's office.

Muzaffar failed to yield while turning and crashed into pedestrians in the city's Tenderloin district on Dec. 31, 2013, Stillman said.

Muzaffar's car struck and killed Sofia Liu, 6, who was walking with her 5-year-old brother and her mother, Huan Kang, according to a wrongful-death lawsuit filed in January against Muzaffar and Uber.


Uber driver charged with vehicular manslaughter (December 9, 2014)

A driver for Uber, the popular ride-hailing service, has been charged with vehicular manslaughter in connection with the death of a young girl crossing a San Francisco street last New Year's Eve.

Syed Muzzafar was charged Monday by the San Francisco District Attorney's Office with allegedly striking and killing 6-year-old Sofia Liu while she walked with her family in a crosswalk, a spokesman told Ars Technica. He will be arraigned Wednesday. Muzzafar, whom Uber says was off-duty at the time, was banned by the company after the incident. Liu's family filed wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits against Uber and Muzzafar in January.

Though Muzzafar was charged with manslaughter, Liu's family said Uber hasn't been "held responsible" like it should be


Meet Tiny Doo, the rapper facing life in prison for making an album (December 3, 2014)

As rappers go, Brandon Duncan’s approach is not unusual: his lyrics reflect the violent reality of the streets. But in the pantheon of rappers who have had run-ins with the courts, Tiny Doo looms large. Despite his lack of a criminal record, Duncan stands accused of nine counts of participating in a “criminal street gang conspiracy”, charges that could land him in prison for life.

But Duncan is not charged with participating in any of the crimes underlying the conspiracy, or even agreeing to them. Rather, he’s effectively on trial for making a rap album.

While details are sparse and the evidence presented against Duncan thus far is reportedly thin, prosecutors appear to be operating on the premise that criminal activity by others, mentioned in Duncan’s lyrics, benefits sales of his album No Safety. “We’re not just talking about a CD of anything, of love songs,” Deputy District Attorney Anthony Campagna argued to the court at Duncan’s preliminary hearing this month.


Prosecutors are using rap music to convince jurors of gang ties (December 01, 2014)

Desean Haywood of Richmond, California, didn't write or perform the lyrics in "What U Do It Fo," a rap video popularized on YouTube. He does stand behind the performers—a group of young men, most of them black, like Haywood. While many make hand gestures that appear to be gun threats or gang signs, Haywood, 29, does not, instead bobbing his head to the beat. That didn't stop the Contra Costa County district attorney's office from showing the 2010 video to a jury hearing a case against Haywood for home invasion robbery. He was found guilty of the crime earlier this year. The government's eyewitness reportedly could not identify Haywood, but the jury did hear evidence that police found Haywood on the street with gunshot wounds shortly after the December 2011 robbery. Robby Herrill Ross Jr., also a suspect in the robbery, was shot and killed by the resident.

Prosecutors sought to add a gang enhancement charge against Haywood. Under California law, it's a crime to willfully promote felony criminal conduct to benefit a street gang. To find the enhancement, a jury does not need to be convinced that the defendant is a member of a gang—only that the individual did something for the benefit of a gang or in association with it.


Killer or Artist? Why Rap is on Trial. (November 13, 2014)

When Laz Tha Boy threatens to murder someone with an AK-47, it may seem scary. He proudlyDeandre Mitchell as Laz Tha Boy in music video What U Do It Fo mimes shooting handguns towards the camera in his videos and promises to "leave a … face burgundy," when he is finished killing. But he says, it's an act.

Deandre Mitchell is from Richmond, Calif., and Laz Tha Boy is his hip-hop rap music persona. Although he says he writes many different types of rap music, he has found local success in the Northern California area as a gangsta rapper.

"It was just a way for me to express myself and be able to show the world that I [could] do something else. Try to give the people around me the motivation to say we could come from nothing," said Mitchell to Reason TV behind a pane of glass at the Martinez Detention Facility in Martinez, California.


A new California trend -- prosecuting rap (April 07, 2014)

For 16 months, Bay Area rapper Deandre Mitchell — better known as Laz Tha Boy — has been sitting in a jail cell faced with a decision no artist should have to make: whether to defend his innocence at trial, knowing his music likely will be used as evidence against him, or take a plea bargain and admit to crimes he maintains he did not commit.

Mitchell's case dates to October 2012, when he was indicted for his alleged role in two gang-related shootings that occurred that year. Prosecutors didn't present a single arrest or conviction to establish Mitchell's association with a criminal gang, and with conflicting eyewitness testimony — and no physical evidence connecting him to the shootings, according to defense attorney John Hamasaki — prosecutors elected to introduce something else: Mitchell's violent gangsta rap videos and lyrics, which were presented to the grand jury as evidence of his criminal behavior.

Although some of the videos were made years earlier — and none included specific details about the shootings he was charged with — they did contain graphic depictions of violence, including lyrics such as "If I see him I'm gonna murk him / three round burst leave a ... face burgundy." Ignoring the basic distinction between author and narrator, prosecutors invited the grand jurors to conflate Deandre Mitchell with his musical persona, Laz Tha Boy. Mitchell was indicted on all counts.


A new California trend -- prosecuting rap Los Angeles Times. (April 07, 2014)

For 16 months, Bay Area rapper Deandre Mitchell — better known as Laz Tha Boy — has been sitting in a jail cell faced with a decision no artist should have to make: whether to defend his innocence at trial, knowing his music likely will be used as evidence against him, or take a plea bargain and admit to crimes he maintains he did not commit.

Mitchell's case dates to October 2012, when he was indicted for his alleged role in two gang-related shootings that occurred that year. Prosecutors didn't present a single arrest or conviction to establish Mitchell's association with a criminal gang, and with conflicting eyewitness testimony — and no physical evidence connecting him to the shootings, according to defense attorney John Hamasaki — prosecutors elected to introduce something else: Mitchell's violent gangsta rap videos and lyrics, which were presented to the grand jury as evidence of his criminal behavior.


'Anonymous' Hackers Plead Guilty To PayPal Cyberattack (December 10, 2013)

Law360, New York (December 10, 2013, 7:26 PM ET) -- Thirteen members of the hacker group Anonymous pled guilty Thursday in a northern California federal court to charges related to their involvement in a 2010 cyberattack of eBay Inc. subsidiary PayPal Inc.’s website, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday.

As part of their guilty plea, the defendants admitted to carrying out a distributed denial of service, or DDoS, cyberattack against PayPal in December 2010 in what Anonymous claimed was retribution for PayPal suspending online payments and donations to the anti-government-secrecy site WikiLeaks, according to a...


Hacker's Hell: Many want to narrow the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (May 01, 2013)

Angered that the Internet site PayPal had ceased allowing its users to donate to the controversial online publisher WikiLeaks, 14 computer users allegedly fought back. They sent PayPal multiple communication requests, a program that hackers use to saturate networks with information and crash them.

One of the programmers, Keith W. Downey from Jacksonville, Fla., was charged with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for unauthorized use of a computer. If convicted, Downey, 28, faces 15 years in federal prison.

Downey is among a growing number of individuals charged with violating the CFAA. In late 2010, Aaron Swartz, a well-known Internet developer, began posing as a guest on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology network and downloaded academic journals from the digital library JSTOR. Swartz, an open-source leader who developed the RSS feed, was charged with wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer, and recklessly damaging a computer. He faced up to 35 years.


Charges against 2 more Occupy Cal protesters dropped - Daily Cal coverage of dismissal of November 9th Occupy Cal charges
(April 27, 2012)

The criminal charges against two protesters involved in the November. 9 Occupy Cal demonstrations were dismissed at a hearing Friday, leaving only two more hearings to determine the fate of the charges for the remaining protesters.

Recent UC Berkeley graduate Erick Uribe — charged with blocking a public thoroughfare and obstructing an officer — and graduate student Shane Boyle — whose charges included remaining at the scene of a riot — are two of the 13 protesters charged for their involvement in November’s protest. The charges against at least nine of their fellow protesters have also been dropped this month.


Charged protesters allege UCPD discrimination (April 23, 2012)

Many of the 13 protesters charged in relation to the November. 9 Occupy Cal protests are crying foul over what they say is a concerted attempt by UCPD and the university to silence them.

The 13 who were presented with criminal charges are mainly former and current students at UC Berkeley. For most of them, this week begins further court proceedings where they will fight against the charges, all of which they have pleaded not guilty to. Since they were issued, the charges have faced widespread condemnation, especially after 12 of the 13 protesters were issued stay-away orders barring them from UC property.

“It’s certainly problematic that of the hundreds of people … the people (UCPD) focused on seem to be the people that have been politically active on campus,” said John Hamasaki, an attorney for graduate student Shane Boyle, one of those charged. “It’s a way for (UCPD) to try to silence certain student leaders.”


Crime or Protest? Hacking Groups Pose Nettlesome Legal Issues - American Bar Association article on Anonmous/Cyber-activism (November 1, 2011)

“Nerd Scare” sounds like what happens after an EverQuest player spills Mountain Dew on his computer.

But it’s really a term the National Lawyers Guild has coined to refer to the Justice Department’s stepped-up enforcement efforts against “Anonymous” and others. Referred to as an online hacking collective by some, Anonymous (and similar groups) allegedly waged digital attacks against a variety of corporations, including PayPal, Sony and Amazon.


Charged protesters allege UCPD discrimination (April 23, 2012)

Many of the 13 protesters charged in relation to the November. 9 Occupy Cal protests are crying foul over what they say is a concerted attempt by UCPD and the university to silence them.

The 13 who were presented with criminal charges are mainly former and current students at UC Berkeley. For most of them, this week begins further court proceedings where they will fight against the charges, all of which they have pleaded not guilty to. Since they were issued, the charges have faced widespread condemnation, especially after 12 of the 13 protesters were issued stay-away orders barring them from UC property.

“It’s certainly problematic that of the hundreds of people … the people (UCPD) focused on seem to be the people that have been politically active on campus,” said John Hamasaki, an attorney for graduate student Shane Boyle, one of those charged. “It’s a way for (UCPD) to try to silence certain student leaders.”


Defending 'Anonymous': Lawyers For Alleged 'Hacktivists' Speak Out (Sep 14, 2011)

The cases are still in their early stages. But bit by bit, the lives and personalities of the suspects arrested and charged in July as members of the 'hackivist' collective 'Anonymous' are coming to light.

The prosecutions, stemming from cyber attacks on PayPal, AT&T, and a law enforcement website, represent the government's first major salvo against a group whose operations it considers an increasing criminal threat, at the same time as its basic construction has remained largely opaque.

But while the charges are clear cut, the potential motives of the accused are less so. Indeed that's the key question. Who are Anonymous, and what do they want, if anything? Is Anonymous even a real organization, or is it an ethos? And does that distinction really matter, when there are real crimes being committed under the Anonymous banner?


Threats or payback ? Activist arrested after criticizing the SFPD and its tactics on television (Aug 23, 2011)

Officers from the San Francisco Police Department arrested a 21-year-old activist from Hunters Point less than 24 hours after he appeared on a public access television show where he indicted the police for a recent shooting and named officers he says have personally harassed him.

Around 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, Debray Carpenter, who is also known as Fly Benzo, was arrested near the intersection of Oakdale Avenue and Lane Street and booked on charges of threatening a police officer and resisting arrest. After spending almost four days in jail, the District Attorney's Office declined to file any charges and Carpenter was released.


U.S. v. Keith Downey -- New York Time continuing coverage of Anonymous case (August 5, 2011)

When Senator Joseph R. McCarthy held hearings in the 1950s to question witnesses about their supposed ties to communism, critics accused him of fomenting a Red Scare hysteria.

Decades later, the term Green Scare was used to describe a series of sweeping federal prosecutions of people involved in radical environmental and animal rights groups.


Mobilizing Help for People Accused of Hacking (Aug 05,2011)

When Senator Joseph R. McCarthy held hearings in the 1950s to question witnesses about their supposed ties to communism, critics accused him of fomenting a Red Scare hysteria.

Decades later, the term Green Scare was used to describe a series of sweeping federal prosecutions of people involved in radical environmental and animal rights groups.

Now, perhaps, comes the Nerd Scare.


U.S. v. Keith Downey -- New York Times coverage of Anonymous case (July 26, 2011)

SAN FRANCISCO — The F.B.I.'s arrests of 14 people last week were the most ambitious crackdown yet on a loose-knit group of hackers called Anonymous that has attacked a string of government agencies and private companies over the last eight months.

But at least some of the suspects are not your typical hard-core hackers, judging from interviews with two of them and the online traces of others. Some did not bother to cover their digital tracks as they participated in what they saw as an online protest. And some say they were unaware that their feverish clicks on a home computer may have been against the law.


For Suspected Hackers, a Sense of Social Protest (July 26,2011)

SAN FRANCISCO — The F.B.I.’s arrests of 14 people last week were the most ambitious crackdown yet on a loose-knit group of hackers called Anonymous that has attacked a string of government agencies and private companies over the last eight months.

But at least some of the suspects are not your typical hard-core hackers, judging from interviews with two of them and the online traces of others. Some did not bother to cover their digital tracks as they participated in what they saw as an online protest. And some say they were unaware that their feverish clicks on a home computer may have been against the law.

The suspects, mostly in their 20s and living unremarkable lives in small towns and suburbs across the country, now face up to 15 years in prison. Among them are a college student, an ex-Marine, a couple of self-taught computer programmers, even a young man whose only celebrity before last week’s arrest was that he dressed up as Harry Potter for a movie premiere.


Peralta Colleges student Jesse Trepper acquitted by jury in Oakland -- Summary of recent victory at jury trial. (June 1, 2011)

On June 1, 2011, an Oakland jury acquitted 25 year-old Peralta Colleges student Jesse Trepper of resisting arrest during a student demonstration at the Peralta Community Colleges District Headquarters. The judge granted the defense motion for acquittal to a second count of disturbing the peace at the close of the prosecution's case.

Jesse's journey through the criminal justice system began when she attended the demonstration at Laney College as a student and a member of the LGBTQQ group "Queers Fighting Back". After delivering a speech in support of transgender students at Peralta Colleges, Jesse marched along with other over a hundred other students to the district headquarters to voice their concerns to the administration.


Protesters Involved in Feb. 26 Riot Found Not Guilty of All Charges (November 17, 2010)

Two protesters involved in the Feb. 26 Southside riot were acquitted of all charges Monday following a short deliberation by jurors.

The defendants - Zachary Miller, an alumnus of UC Berkeley, and Marika Goodrich, a senior at the time of the riot - had been charged with misdemeanors and were arrested during the protest.

Miller had been charged with resisting arrest, obstructing a peace officer and attempted removal of a non-firearm weapon from a peace officer, while Goodrich was charged with misdemeanor assault against a peace officer.


UC Berkeley Students' Hearing Continues With Testimony from Defendant (November 12, 2010)

The hearing for two protesters arrested and charged with misdemeanors during a Feb. 26 riot on Southside continued on Wednesday, with alumnus and defendant Zachary Miller being called to testify.

The trial began with Miller's lawyer, Graham E. Archer, presenting a series of photographs taken of Miller early Feb. 26 after he had been arrested.

One of the photographs depicted a mark on Miller's left forearm, which Miller described as "four inches long, maybe a quarter to a half-inch in width" and said was caused by a baton strike from an officer at the scene.


Trial Begins for Feb. 26 Protesters (November 05, 2010)

The hearing for two protesters arrested during a Feb. 26 riot on Southside began Wednesday, continuing Thursday with witnesses for both the defense and prosecution being called to testify

The defendants - alumna Marika Goodrich, a UC Berkeley senior at the time of the riot, and alumnus Zachary Miller - were charged with misdemeanors and pleaded not guilty to all counts in the Alameda County Superior Court.

Goodrich was charged with misdemeanor assault against a peace officer, while Miller was charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest, obstructing a peace officer and attempted removal of a non-firearm weapon from a peace officer.


News In Brief: Trial of Protesters in Riot Begins (November 04, 2010)

Opening statements and initial testimonies were heard Wednesday in the trial against two protesters involved with Feb. 26 riots south of UC Berkeley.

Marika Goodrich, a UC Berkeley senior at the time of her arrest, and UC Berkeley alumnus Zachary Miller - the defendants in the case - were arrested after a riot of more than 200 people swarmed the streets of Southside and clashed with police officers. Goodrich was originally booked on charges of assault on a police officer, inciting a riot and resisting arrest. Miller was originally booked for inciting a riot, resisting arrest and obstructing a police officer.

On March 1, both defendants entered pleas of not guilty - Goodrich pled to charges of assault on a peace officer and resisting arrest and Miller to resisting arrest and two counts of attempting to remove a peace officer's non-firearm weapon.


Felony Charges Reduced to Misdemeanors for Alleged Attackers of White Separatists (Jun 07, 2010)

A Superior Court judge has reduced felony charges to misdemeanors for two protesters accused of beating two members of the white separatist group Bay Area National Anarchists after the May Day immigration reform rally.

Judge Cynthia Ming-Mei Lee dropped charges against Donnell Allen for assault with a deadly weapon for using a battery (as in an Energizer) and robbing a backpack from Bay Area National Anarchist leader Andrew White (aka Andrew Yeoman). Allen's assault charge against White was reduced to a misdemeanor.

At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing on Thursday, Lee also reduced the four assault charges against 19-year-old Kelsey Musgrove to misdemeanors -- two


White Separatists' Alleged Attackers Enter Their Pleas (May 05, 2010)

When the Average Joe thinks of an anarchist, he thinks of white folks dressed in black who break windows at World Trade Organization summits. But there's more sects of self-proclaimed anarchists than varieties of Heinz condiments -- and two diametrically opposed groups are now facing off in Superior Court after a spat came to blows on Saturday.

Two alleged "black bloc" anarchists pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning to felony charges stemming from a fight Saturday with the white separatist group Bay Area National Anarchists (BANA) after an immigration reform rally at Civic Center Plaza. Bail was set at $75,000 each for Donnell Allen, 42, and Kelsey Musgrove, 19, and the date for the preliminary hearing will be set Thursday.

A quick primer: Bay Area National Anarchists is a two-year-old self-proclaimed white separatist


Felony Charges For Two Alleged Attackers of White Separatists (May 03, 2010)

Police have booked two people who allegedly attacked members of a white separatist anarchist group at Saturday's San Francisco immigration march. The pair have been hit with felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, and conspiracy. The alleged attackers also were booked into jail on misdemeanor charges of interfering with free speech. The district attorney's office has not yet made a charging decision in the case.

Donnell Allen, a 42-year-old black San Francisco resident, and Kelsey Musgrove, a 19-year-old white female from Pittsburgh, Penn., were arrested on Saturday after an alleged attack on four Bay Area National Anarchists while the self-professed white separatists were leaving a counter-protest of the immigration reform rally in Civic Center Plaza. Police say the suspects were wearing all-black clothing.

This isn't Allen's first brush with the law. News reports indicate he was also arrested back in December during an attack on UC Berkeley chancellor Robert Birgeneau's campus residence.


Majority of Arrested Freeway Activists Freed Without Bail (March 08, 2010)

About five protesters, including at least two UC students, will be arraigned today after being arrested for blocking traffic on Interstate Highways 880 and 980 as part of the March 4 statewide protest.

The majority of the roughly 140 protesters arrested Thursday in Oakland were released without bail and are scheduled to appear in court during the first week of April. But those facing arraignment today remained in Santa Rita Jail over the weekend with bail amounts ranging from $2,000 to $12,000, according to John Hamasaki, an attorney representing one of the protesters.

According to Hamasaki, nearly all of those arrested were cited for unlawful assembly and obstruction of a public street.


Two Arrested Protesters Charged, Plead Not Guilty (March 2, 2010)

OAKLAND-Two protesters arrested during Friday's Southside riots were charged with misdemeanors and pleaded not guilty to all counts in the Alameda County Superior Court Monday.

UC Berkeley senior Marika Goodrich, 28, pleaded not guilty to charges of assault on a peace officer and resisting arrest, according to her attorney, John M. Hamasaki. Zachary Miller, 26, pleaded not guilty to resisting arrest and two counts of attempting to remove a peace officer's non-firearm weapon, according to his attorney, Graham E. Archer.

The presiding judge, Karen A. Rodrigue, granted a request by Goodrich's defense to have her released Monday without posting bail.


Rioters Clash with Police in Streets South of UC Berkeley (February 26, 2010)

A crowd of more than 200 people swarmed the streets of Southside early Friday morning in a riot involving seven law enforcement agencies, runaway dumpsters, flaming trash cans, shattered windows and violent clashes between rioters and police.

What began as a dance party on Upper Sproul Plaza led to an occupation of Durant Hall at around 11:15 p.m. Thursday to raise support for the March 4 statewide protest in support of public education.

According to a statement distributed by the occupiers, the building was selected because of its symbolic nature. Durant Hall formerly housed the campus East Asian Library and the campus Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. It is now being renovated to become office space for the College of Letters and Science, which spurred activists to "reclaim" the space for students.


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