LA County taxpayers are footing the bill for the defense of UCLA’s arrested protesters

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted last week to provide legal assistance to people arrested during a law enforcement raid to remove anti-Israel protesters at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Earlier this month, California Highway Patrol officers in riot gear entered a fortified encampment outside Royce Hall and arrested more than 200 people. The arrests were made because the group did not disperse despite being advised to leave multiple times and frequently engaged CHP forces. The western end of the camp remained open for those willing to leave.

Those who stayed and fought the police were happy to do so.

Fox News national correspondent Bill Melgin reported that all but one board member voted in favor of the motion. Legal assistance is provided through the public defender’s office.

But I don’t think they have the legal authority to micromanage like this. ”

Public appointments were already an option for arrested protesters who wanted a public defender, but “in this case, the county directed the PD office to provide taxpayers with the resources.” ing” [and] We provide a service to advocate for this specific group of people that we choose over other services, and we track the case and report a resolution within 60 days,” Melgin said.

“However, defendants can only choose to be represented by a public defender if they demonstrate that they cannot afford an attorney. The Board of Supervisors appoints the public defender; I don’t think they have the legal authority to be micromanaged like this,” said Laura Powell, a California-based attorney. Said In response to the.

Of the 200 people arrested, some were quickly released without being charged with any crime, the newspaper said. daily bruin.

Christopher Bou Said, a Los Angeles-based criminal defense and civil rights attorney, told The Daily Bruin that he had seen charges that he felt were unjust as a result of previous protests.

“In previous protests, we’ve had accusations that we don’t think are justified, and in the George Floyd protests, we’ve represented people with charges that we don’t think are supported by evidence. Yes,” he said.

In addition to trespassing and resisting arrest, 43 people were charged with conspiracy to commit robbery.

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