LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sign-toting protesters say Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich is trying to criminalize dissent and compare themselves to Egyptians seeking justice.

In a demonstration outside the downtown criminal courts building Monday, some of the 24 people arrested last year spoke out for their right to protest Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigrants and to advocate an immigration amnesty law. Dozens of supporters were on hand.

Trutanich barred plea negotiations with those arrested and is seeking up to a year of jail time for them. He says they disrupted traffic and cost the city thousands of dollars in police time.

Demonstrators had chained themselves together and lay down in the street.

Trutanich says he wants to discourage those who stage illegal protests. Critics say he is chilling free speech.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (3)
  1. sue says:

    that is why he is not Attorney General

  2. GeorgeKingfishStevens says:

    Go for it, Mr. Trutanich. Demonstrators can protest all they want, but I have a right to not be bothered by them. And if their actions cost taxpayers measurably, they should be held accountable for those costs. Give ’em a year in jail – no good and honor time – just a flat 365.

  3. L. Sims says:

    “With approximately 20,000 detainees, the Los Angeles County jail system is the largest and most expensive in the nation, costing nearly $1 billion a year to operate.” That’s roughly $50,000 per year for each inmate. (Source: ACLU Report released May 5th,2010)
    Starting January 25th, thousands of dangerous criminals will be released early from California state prisons – and for the first time in nearly 30 years, sent back to local communities without any supervision,” stated the Los Angeles Police Protective League. (Source: Los Angeles Police Protective League) The article goes on to state that they expect to have nearly 5,000 in Los Angeles County released. This release is necessitated because LA County doesn’t have the space or the money to support the overcrowding in our jails.
    Now let’s take a look at the actions of LA City Atty. Trutanich’s regarding the protestors arrested last year in a demonstrating against Arizona’s law SB1070 on Wilshire Blvd. He wants to press for up to one year in jail for each of the demonstrators. Take the cost of $50,000 person times the 24 arrested. That’s a cost of $1,200,000 – that over a Million with a capital “M” . This figure doesn’t even include the legal and court costs.
    So where’s the logic here? Clearly Trutanich is not interested in saving the city money. In fact he will cost the city millions. If he were interested in saving the city money, he would press for community service like graffiti removal to actually “repay” the city.
    But he’s not. We should ask – why, where’s the benefit?
    The main beneficiary is Trutanich himself. His name has appeared in LA Times news papers before 2010 a handful of times, but now his name is in print on the front page of the Los Angeles Times, and on the Times’ web site. “Trutanich Eyes District Attorney’s Post” the LA Weekly News trumpets on Jan 20 2011. So perhaps it’s name recognition that he’s after, not justice or savings for the City of Los Angeles.

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