Monday, December 27, 2010

Arraignment Tomorrow

We've received a report that the UC Merced student who is being charged with a felony (among other things) based on allegations stemming from the protest at the UC Regents' meeting in November, and who was subjected to a full-fledged manhunt organized and carried out by UCSF police, will surrender himself into custody today. He will be arraigned Tuesday (tomorrow) morning at 9am at the San Francisco courthouse at 850 Bryant St. Come out and support him!

[Update Wed 12/29]: From thosewhouseit:
Peter Howell, the UC Merced undergrad facing a felony count for the Regents' meeting, had his arraignment today around 10:45 am. Brought out in orange scrubs and cuffs, Howell's lawyer asked that the felony charge be reduced to a misdemeanor given that the prosecution’s case is so weak and that there is video evidence demonstrating that Howell never touched the weapon. The prosecutor attempted to defend the position that he grabbed Kemper's baton, but the reasoning was incoherent. Here's Howell on the scuffle:
"I put my hands on my chest and backpedaled," Howell said in the interview. "I was trying to get away. [Officer Kemper] shoved through me, and he may have lost control of his baton. You can hear it rattle on the ground in a video. At no point did I strike him on the head, so I believe that statement was false."
Regardless, the judge refused to engage the debate, pushing it back to the hearing date, now scheduled for February 22 upon the request of the defense. The judge denied him release on O[wn] R[ecognizance] but reduced the bail from $30,000 to $15,000.


Howell's lawyer, John Hamasaki, is looking for anyone who witnessed the alleged incident on November 17 at UCSF-Mission Bay. Contact him at if you are a witness, or else if you have photos or videos of the alleged incident.

Safety reminder: Please do not offer yourself as a witness if you have uncharged conduct from that day (that may also show up in photos or videos). This is not an assumption that anyone does, just a precaution. Also, please don’t discuss any possible evidence or witness testimony you may have in writing, including comments sections on blogs and over listservs. Due to the recent increase in state/university repression, we should actively consider being very careful with information, in order to care for each other and ourselves.


  1. Tagged with "fear"? Seriously?

    Perhaps you were thinking of what the police felt facing that mob. Fear they might get hurt, fear the situation not of their making would get out of control, fear that somebody else might get hurt.

    But that's probably not it, because you don't think of police as being people.

    So much for "progressive" values...

  2. I think they probably meant "fear" as in the feeling experienced by the unarmed students and workers who had a gun pulled on them by UCPD at the regent's meeting where the UC Merced student was originally arrested.

    It's not really about "progressive" values. It's more about common sense- as in not pulling guns on unarmed civilians or forcing students to take on massive debt to pay for college and living expenses. Get it?

  3. No, I guess I don't get it. The students I saw that day were the ones pushing the situation. If you'd been facing that many screaming people, police officer or no, wouldn't you be afraid?

    As to fear that the people of California won't keep paying your living expenses while you study what you want to, get over yourself. Why should we pay your rent while we have to work extra hours at our own jobs?