Whether or not you agree with the “Occupy” movement, there is no denying that Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the LAPD blatantly broke United States Constitutional law, in addition to violating the California Civil Code which they have sworn to uphold.
Section 52.1 of the California Civil Code clearly states: “Any individual whose exercise or enjoyment of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of this state, has been interfered with, or attempted to be interfered with, as described in subdivision (a), may institute and prosecute in his or her own name and on his or her own behalf a civil action for damages, including, but not limited to, damages under Section 52, injunctive relief, and other appropriate equitable relief to protect the peaceable exercise or enjoyment of the right or rights secured.” Keep that in mind as you read about some of the activities that took place last night.
During the sweep of the park in front of Los Angeles City Hall, Mayor Villaraigosa declared there would be a “First Amendment area” of the park. Last time I checked, the whole of the United States is a First Amendment area!
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees freedom of the press, was violated by the LAPD, who declared that only media with LAPD-issued badges would be allowed in the vicinity of City Hall. Only a select number of pre-determined media endorsed by the LAPD were permitted to cover the events of last night’s raid. Members of the press who were not LAPD sanctioned were subject to arrest. (It’s worth noting that members of independent online brodcaster, Ustream, were detained by officers.)
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was violated, as unconvicted arrestees are having their DNA sampled by way of mouth swabs. These individuals were detained by officers, but were not formally convicted of any crime. The Fourth Amendment states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no Warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” (Emphasis placed by me.)
Despite all these facts, the protestors and occupiers are, in the eyes of the law, the media, the general population, and our elected officials, are the ones breaking the laws of the United States. Land of the free, indeed.