UNJUST CONVICTION OF ARTHUR SCHAPER IN DOWNEY, CA
On October 25th, 2018, a jury in Downey Courthouse found me guilty of two counts of PC 148(a)1, also known as "resisting arrest” because I refused to leave a city council meeting which I lawfully had a right to attend.
Here is the specific law in the California Penal Code:
148. (a) (1) Every person who willfully resists, delays, or obstructs any public officer, peace officer, or an emergency medical technician, as defined in Division 2.5 (commencing with Section 1797) of the Health and Safety Code, in the discharge or attempt to discharge any duty of his or her office or employment, when no other punishment is prescribed, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
The facts of this case are simple.
I attended a city council meeting in Huntington Park, CA (June 6, 2017). This is the same city, by the way, which appointed two illegal aliens to city commissioners while displacing American citizens. This is also the same city which has a $320 million pension liability, overtaxes the residents on every level, has pushed marijuana dispensaries on the residents without their consent, and even shut down the expansion of charter schools in the city.
Oh, and a fedeal court found them guilty of violating the federal and state constitutions in relation to the disbursement of marijuana permits.
During the meeting, the police kept all of us in the lobby downstairs. They tried to limit the number of people who could attend the meeting in the council chambers.
By the time I entered the city council chambers, there were many people in the audience shouting, yelling, making all kinds of noise. I was routinely harassed from behind. I did get to speak at the podium during public comment, then returned to my seat.
About 30 minutes into the meeting, the chief of police Cosme Lozano (who is neither experienced nor legally qualified to serve as chief of police, according to multiple reports) suddenly announced to mayor Marilyn Sanabria that “seemingly Mr. Schaper is still disruptive at the back of the room”. The mayor gave me one warning – when I was not even disruptive. Then a Brown Supremacist at the back of the room shouted “No, that’s his second warning.”
It was not. That was a total lie. She then ordered me to leave the room. Reminder: there were numerous people all over the meeting who had been shouting, especially people who were pro-illegal alien, favored by the city council and staff. Nothing was said to them.
This order was unlawful, so I refused. Besides, the onerous “rules of decorum” which the city, deputy DA, and then the court would used against me clearly violate the Ralph M. Brown Act. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office had rebuked and directed the city council to change their enforcement of rules in the city council chambers.
Last of all, I did not disrupt the meeting.
Shortly, the police officers swarmed me, including Sergeant Joseph Settles as well as Officer Saul Duran, and they told me to leave. “I am giving you a lawful order.”
One problem: it was NOT a lawful order. I repeatedly told the officers that I had not disrupted the meeting. I refused to leave because I had a right to be there, and it was clear that the mayor, the city council, and whoever else was in charge was picking and choosing enforcement of the rules. They made it very clear that I would not be allowed to return to the city council chambers. Why were they clearing the room in the first place?
At trial, the judge excluded key evidence which demonstrated that the Huntington Park City Council routinely violated the First Amendment and the Ralph M. Brown Act. The deputy district attorney Carl Marrone actually drew up a theory of the case in which I deliberately sought to be arrested to get views and publicity. It was a total lie, and repeatedly I argued against it, but my comments were routinely stricken from the record.
During cross examination with one of my witnesses, Deputy DA Marrone spent more time asking about other people and We the People Rising as a group, not myself. Despite my attorney’s objections, those comments were permitted. It was all meant to deliberately tip the jury.
This was a total kangaroo court in which they jury did not get the whole picture. In fact, the deputy DA lied twice in his closing arguments: first, claiming that everyone else had been cleared from the chambers—when people from both sides had not left; second, claiming that this arrest was crash exhibitionism, when it was merely my decision to assert my rights as a citizen.
And yet ... the jury returned a guilty verdict.
Let’s recall that juries get cases wrong many times, and mostly because evidence is not permitted to be presented. I was only allowed to call two witnesses, when I had ELEVEN prepared to testify on my behalf! The DA only called one witness. ONE!
The sentencing was the most egregious. This presiding officer—Commissioner Maria May Santos—handed down an outrageous set of punishments to me for these two misdemeanor counts:
1. 20 days Caltrans
2. Write apology letters to the two police officers and the Huntington Park City Council—this is coerced speech, and I maintain today as then that I did not disrupt the meeting. They had no right to remove me!
3. Stay 100 yards away from the Huntington Park City Council chambers and the city council members
4. Attend the Museum of Tolerance and write an essay about my visit to five specific exhibits. I have nothing against the Museum of Tolerance, but it was quite clear that there was no tolerance for me or other people with my views. Why am I getting these kinds of consequences?
5. 364 days in jail SUSPENDED, subject to 3 years summary probation—harsh.
6. Pay my attorney’s fees.
Commissioner Santos then said to me after sentencing: “I understand why you didn’t leave, but it was a lawful order.”
I repeat: NO it was not.
These sentencing demands are nothing short of outrageous, especially since I did nothing wrong. The First Amendment and the Ralph M. Brown Act permit full permission for members of the public. Members of the community were telling me that people were insanely determined to just have me thrown out of that meeting. In previous meetings, I had suffered this unjust consequence, being forced out of city council meetings because of other people’s disturbing actions.
These are politically motivated charges, convinction, and sentencing. This trial and the verdict were a total miscarriage of justice. As of now, MassResistance is investigating right now wether the presiding officer has connections with liberal leading or La Raza groups.
All throughout the country, we have witnessed left-wing radicals and activists destroying property, burning buildings, harming innocent people—I myself have been the victim of these kinds of attacks many times, including at Berkeley in August, 2017. It is outrageous how I get strung up with such a heavy punishment for doing nothing wrong, and yet a professor can hit a young man on the head with a bikelock, and get probation; a mob can surround and throw trash at an innocent woman in San Jose, CA, and there are no consequences; and there are many other acts of violence and disruptive behavior committed by armed goons, Antifa thugs, Brown Supremacists, and other types of neo-Nazis against innocent people--and nothing happens to the malefactors.
This case, this verdict, was a full-on miscarriage of justice, and it needs to be exposed.
I had refrained from releasing a full public comment out of respect for my work with MassResistance, but my employer has encouraged me to publish my full remarks. He will provide a full report with more information very soon.
Yes, you can be certain that I am filing an appeal against this unjust verdict and this whole case.
For more information, feel free to email me at email@example.com