Journalist and eXiled editor Yasha Levine may have been freed last week after getting arrested while covering the LAPD crackdown on Occupy Los Angeles. But, as he wrote over the weekend, the repurcussions of his arrest are far from over.
So now that most of the detained protesters have been released, what is our legal status? Are we going to be prosecuted? Well, that’s not very clear.
I’ve been charged with misdemeanor# 409PC: failure to disperse (or, as my booking officer put down on my prisoner’s receipt, it’s “fail to disclose”). My court date is set for early January, so I guess I’ll find out then. But apparently I shouldn’t expect the city to drop the charge.
Levine is referring to a recent LA Weekly story which reports that in lieu of prosecution, OccupyLA arrestees may be allowed to enroll in a 90-day Alternative Prosecution Program–aimed, ironically, at giving the protesters lessons in the First Amendment.
Says Levine of that prospect: “Ha! So there you have it, folks. Not only does the City of Los Angeles arrest those who exercise their constitutional right to peacefully protest (or in my case simply to report on a peaceful protest), apparently it now requires anyone caught exercising that right to enroll in a political reeducation camp.”
We personally hope Levine does enroll in the program. We can’t wait to read what a journalist, and an exile whose family was forced to flee the repressive Soviet Russian regime, has to write about being lectured by LAPD about the limits of the First Amendment.
Previously on FishbowlLA:
Journalist Yasha Levine Released From Jail After OccupyLA Arrest