Judge refuses to dismiss charges against Antifa leader Yvette Felarca
Yvette Felarca is a leader of a Berkeley area Antifa group called By Any Means Necessary (BAMN). Last July Felarca was arrested on charges of inciting a riot and felony assault over an incident that took place in Sacramento in 2016. In February of this year, Felarca and two other Antifa defendants asked a judge to dismiss the charges on the grounds that she is the victim of a “political witch hunt” involving a cover-up and police collusion with fascist protesters. Today, County Court judge Michael Savage ruled the felony case against Felarca could proceed. From Berkeleyside:
[Judge] Savage did not accept the defense’s argument that the charges were discriminatory.
“Simply nothing in these exhibits supports the defendants’ claims…that they were unjustly or unfairly culled out,” he said in court…
“No one from my office really cares” about the defendants’ racial or political identities, said Paris Coleman, Sacramento County deputy district attorney. “That’s not why they were charged. They are captured on video committing crimes, unfortunately for them.”
After its lengthy investigation, the CHP submitted more than 100 arrest warrants from the rally, but the DA determined that most did not meet the office’s standards for filing charges, or were not backed by enough evidence, according to a statement by the DA. Coleman said the DA had the ethical obligation to go after the cases that could be proven, and nothing else…
Felarca’s attorneys have argued that the video showing her assault is inadmissible as evidence because it is “unauthenticated.”
The CHP spent eight months investigating what happened in Sacramento. The Associated Press reported last year that the CHP recommended bringing charges against over 100 people involved in the melee, but ultimately the DA only found evidence to support charges against four individuals:
The fighting broke out in June when about 30 members of the Traditionalist Worker Party were confronted by more than 300 counter-protesters. Fourteen people suffered stab wounds, cuts and bruises. Two of the injured survived critical stab wounds.
The CHP is seeking 68 felony charges and 514 misdemeanors against 106 individuals for activities ranging from unlawful assembly to assault with a deadly weapon…
Officials said their investigation was made more difficult because many counter-demonstrators wore masks, forcing them to review surveillance and social media videos to identify the attackers.
“Many of those deliberately disguised their identity and were difficult to locate. Many refused to cooperate with investigators,” CHP spokeswoman Fran Clader said.
The Traditionalist Workers Party had a permit for the rally, and more than 100 officers were present because of the expected counter-protest. Several observers who were not involved criticized officers for being too slow to intervene.
While I don’t think there was any police conspiracy going on here, it is unfortunate that police stood by and let this escalate. That’s the same sort of hands-off policing that resulted in disaster in Charlottesville. Police now acknowledge that the best way to prevent standoffs like this from escalating into violence is to keep the combatants separated at all times and clamp down on any scuffles that do break out.
Here’s the video showing Felarca attacking a member of the racist Traditional Worker’s Party. She shoves him, punches him and then her fellow Antifa goons take over, bringing him down to the ground before kicking and stomping him. This clip also shows Felarca celebrating her group’s victory later in the day. It’s hard to see how she’s going to get a pass on this.