Occupier Charged With Lynching Herself

This is too bizarre not to mention: one of the Occupiers arrested in Oakland on December 30 has been charged with lynching, a felony charge with a 2 – 4 year sentence. The lynch victim? Herself.

Tiffany Tran lynching herself

California’s Anti-Lynching law was passed in 1933. It states that: “The taking by means of a riot of any person from the lawful custody of any peace officer is a lynching.” Now you may think that the object here is to prevent a mob from seizing an individual in custody and murdering that person. You may think that the purpose of the statute is to protect people from lynchings. You might think that, but you would be wrong: the purpose of the Act is to protect the police.

In People v. Jones, 1971, an appellate judge says that attempting to free someone from arrest by “means of riot” presents a danger to police officers and the intent of the law is to protect them. “Riots” are assemblies of two or more people that are so designated by authorities, i.e., the police. The judge in re Anthony J., 1999 cites Jones and states:

Under California law, “lynching” includes not only the notorious form of lynch mob behavior that aims to take vengeance on the victim, but also any participation in riotous conduct aimed at freeing a person from the custody of a peace officer. Accordingly, we conclude that a person who takes part in a riot leading to his escape from custody can be convicted of his own lynching.

In fact, there is a history in California of people being charged with their own lynching. In 2009, a Modesto DA said that lynching was “a tremendous sign of disrespect to the law enforcement community.”

Got that? Lynching is not a crime of violence against people, it is a crime of dissing cops. There are two elements to anti-lynch laws, says Professor Chris Waldrep, who’s written extensively on the subject: “There’s an unruly crowd, and the act committed is an affront or insult to law enforcement.”

So there you have it. There was an unruly crowd at Frank Ogawa Plaza, the police called it a riot, and Tiffany Tran called out for help as she was being arrested which insulted the police. Obviously she attempted to lynch herself. This just really makes me much much more respectful of police, oh hell yes it does.

(story and many cites via Susie Cagle )

Update: Tiffany Tran and some other incarcerated people had charges against them dropped today (Jan. 4). Two people are still in jail but chances are, they won’t face serious charges. As an outside observer, I think that this is an example of the State using the appearance of Due Process to stifle Dissent, but what’s new about that?

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37 comments on “Occupier Charged With Lynching Herself

  1. [...] Occupier Charged With Lynching Herself GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_bg", "ffffff"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_border", "cccccc"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_text", "000000"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_link", "515151"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_url", "f78b0c"); GA_googleAddAttr("LangId", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Autotag", "politics"); GA_googleAddAttr("Autotag", "religion"); GA_googleAddAttr("Autotag", "sports"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "current-events"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "occupy"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "occupy-oakland"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "opd"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "ows"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "police-brutality"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "solidarity"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "tiffany-tran"); GA_googleFillSlot("wpcom_sharethrough"); Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

  2. cloudshe says:

    what’s the penalty for knowingly making a false accusation?

  3. Walter Payne says:

    “You might think that, but you would be wrong: the purpose of the Act is to protect the police.” But it doesn’t imply that. It says the purpose is to prevent people from removing others from police custody. True, the application of the word “lynching” to this is absurd when the purpose of removing the person from custody isn’t to harm that person outside of the process of the law, but the part about being for the purpose of protecting the police is your own invention.

    “Got that? Lynching is not a crime of violence against people, it is a crime of dissing cops.” Nothing sited leads to this deduction. One DA said that it IS disrespectful. This doesn’t imply that the law exists to keep police from being disrespected, that that’s what the law is FOR.

    About this particular case, what I don’t understand is how she can be charged with lynching unless she actually escaped. The words from the act as given here imply that the removal has to have occurred for it to be a “lynching”.

    • mikulpepper says:

      Walter: no one actually escaped in the two cited cases either. It’nt the saftey or freedom of of the person in custody that’s the legal question, it’s the safety of police officers. If there’s a crowd, then the police have less safety. If the crowd and the person in custody interact, then the danger increases. At least, that’s the way I understand the legal reasoning but IANAL.

      • Beacon says:

        “If there’s a crowd, then the police have less safety”. Umm I’m starting to think that if there is police then the crowd has less safety.

      • mikulpepper says:

        You know, some people have seriously examined that theory. Don’t have any links right this second, but police presence often creates rather than stops violence. Obviously this is true at Occupy events or Teheran demonstrations or Bahrain or Damascus, but not other times you can probably think of. I have been present at one riot-type event where I thought the cops were the good guys. One. I wasn’t at Watts, though, in 1965, and maybe there’s a bunch of other counter-examples. Right now, Serious Adults are shaking their heads, “Where would we be without the police keeping us safe from anarchy and criminals?” I dunno, not theorizing or hypothesizing, just reporting what I see and hear.

  4. Anon says:

    Makes me want to listen to some NWA

  5. brainbrood says:

    What an absurd situation!

  6. Charlie says:

    “Citizens may resist unlawful arrest to the point of taking an arresting officer’s life if necessary.” Plummer v. State, 136 Ind. 306. This premise was upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States in the case: John Bad Elk v. U.S., 177 U.S. 529. The Court stated: “Where the officer is killed in the course of the disorder which naturally accompanies an attempted arrest that is resisted, the law looks with very different eyes upon the transaction, when the officer had the right to make the arrest, from what it does if the officer had no right. What may be murder in the first case might be nothing more than manslaughter in the other, or the facts might show that no offense had been committed.”

    “An arrest made with a defective warrant, or one issued without affidavit, or one that fails to allege a crime is within jurisdiction, and one who is being arrested, may resist arrest and break away. lf the arresting officer is killed by one who is so resisting, the killing will be no more than an involuntary manslaughter.” Housh v. People, 75 111. 491; reaffirmed and quoted in State v. Leach, 7 Conn. 452; State v. Gleason, 32 Kan. 245; Ballard v. State, 43 Ohio 349; State v Rousseau, 241 P. 2d 447; State v. Spaulding, 34 Minn. 3621.

    “When a person, being without fault, is in a place where he has a right to be, is violently assaulted, he may, without retreating, repel by force, and if, in the reasonable exercise of his right of self defense, his assailant is killed, he is justified.” Runyan v. State, 57 Ind. 80; Miller v. State, 74 Ind. 1.

    “These principles apply as well to an officer attempting to make an arrest, who abuses his authority and transcends the bounds thereof by the use of unnecessary force and violence, as they do to a private individual who unlawfully uses such force and violence.” Jones v. State, 26 Tex. App. I; Beaverts v. State, 4 Tex. App. 1 75; Skidmore v. State, 43 Tex. 93, 903.

    “An illegal arrest is an assault and battery. The person so attempted to be restrained of his liberty has the same right to use force in defending himself as he would in repelling any other assault and battery.” (State v. Robinson, 145 ME. 77, 72 ATL. 260).

    “Each person has the right to resist an unlawful arrest. In such a case, the person attempting the arrest stands in the position of a wrongdoer and may be resisted by the use of force, as in self- defense.” (State v. Mobley, 240 N.C. 476, 83 S.E. 2d 100).

    “One may come to the aid of another being unlawfully arrested, just as he may where one is being assaulted, molested, raped or kidnapped. Thus it is not an offense to liberate one from the unlawful custody of an officer, even though he may have submitted to such custody, without resistance.” (Adams v. State, 121 Ga. 16, 48 S.E. 910).

    “Story affirmed the right of self-defense by persons held illegally. In his own writings, he had admitted that ‘a situation could arise in which the checks-and-balances principle ceased to work and the various branches of government concurred in a gross usurpation.’ There would be no usual remedy by changing the law or passing an amendment to the Constitution, should the oppressed party be a minority. Story concluded, ‘If there be any remedy at all … it is a remedy never provided for by human institutions.’ That was the ‘ultimate right of all human beings in extreme cases to resist oppression, and to apply force against ruinous injustice.’” (From Mutiny on the Amistad by Howard Jones, Oxford University Press, 1987, an account of the reading of the decision in the case by Justice Joseph Story of the Supreme Court.

    As for grounds for arrest: “The carrying of arms in a quiet, peaceable, and orderly manner, concealed on or about the person, is not a breach of the peace. Nor does such an act of itself, lead to a breach of the peace.” (Wharton’s Criminal and Civil Procedure, 12th Ed., Vol.2: Judy v. Lashley, 5 W. Va. 628, 41 S.E. 197)

    • mikulpepper says:

      The difficulty of “unarrest” is discussed in a link at Susie Cagle’s site. As for “unlawful arrest”, the cops were uniformed official authorities performing their duties in public in a manner deemed by their superiors and court authorities to be allowable.I think it looks tough, if not impossible, to mount “unlawful arrest” as a succesful defense to the lynching charge.

    • Some Guy says:

      Thanks, Charlie. That’s the kind of well-researched comment I’d love to see on many more stories of cops gone wild.

  7. jbentzr says:

    fuck the police.

  8. Mike says:

    So if a “riot” is defined as “assemblies of two or more people that are so designated by authorities,” who was the person in the riot? Why are they not charged?

  9. What the?! I don’t even know what to say about this it’s so damn stupid!

  10. Zievarrenna says:

    WTF?

    That is beyond absurd!

  11. Michael says:

    That is just too bizarre. I know the defendant & lawyer in the 1999 court case must have been completely flabbergasted.

  12. Michele says:

    That shit craze

  13. raincoaster says:

    Makes total sense. To lawyers.

  14. savannah says:

    effin useless cops…

  15. savannah says:

    It’s shocking to learn that protesting in canada is illegal, I commend all the brave occupiers who are fighting for democracy in a country that is already supposed to be democratic and have freedom of protest

    • mikulpepper says:

      Not sure what you’re after here. The story is about California. Canada has similar strictures on protestors as the US (but, so far as I know, no lynching laws.)

  16. yo says:

    doing being totally out of control.

  17. [...] Occupier Charged with Lynching Herself [...]

  18. [...] In Oakland, you can lynch yourself. [...]

  19. lesleyblood says:

    what a great idea…I mean, why not use these laws from nearly 100 years ago….good thinking chaps…

    unreal.

  20. [...] strategy was perhaps clearest in the case of Tiffany Tran, a young occupier who faced felony charges under California’s Lynching Law. Just as police have recently begun to arrest Copwatchers who record their activities under felony [...]

  21. [...] perhaps clearest &#1110n th&#1077 case &#959f Tiffany Tran, a young occupier wh&#959 faced felony charges under California’s Lynching Law. J&#965&#1109t &#1072&#1109 police h&#1072&#957&#1077 recently begun t&#959 arrest Copwatchers [...]

  22. [...] strategy was perhaps clearest in the case of Tiffany Tran, a young occupier who faced felony charges under California’s Lynching Law. Just as police have recently begun to arrest Copwatchers who record their activities under felony [...]

  23. [...] strategy was perhaps clearest in the case of Tiffany Tran, a young occupier who faced felony charges under California’s Lynching Law. Just as police have recently begun to arrest Copwatchers who record their activities under felony [...]

  24. [...] strategy was perhaps clearest in the case of Tiffany Tran, a young occupier who faced felony charges under California’s Lynching Law. Just as police have recently begun to arrest Copwatchers who record their activities under felony [...]

  25. Mike says:

    I’m sorry….uhh…wouldn’t this be called ‘resisting arrest’?

  26. altekacher says:

    I would love to see somebody make a “citizen’s arrest” on some doughnut infused police officer in the act of breaking up a peaceful gathering.

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