The San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) and the District Attorney’s Office coordinated to arrest 20-year-old local activist Tianna Arata at the end of a protest in support of Black Lives Matter.
Arata was arrested by the San Luis Obispo Police Department around 9 p.m Tuesday night at the end of the five-hour protest.
She was arrested on charges of participation in a riot, unlawful assembly, conspiracy, unlawful imprisonment and resisting arrest, according to a SLOPD press release.
Arata’s arrest was recorded and shared on Instagram. About 15 police cars were present at the time of her arrest, according to the social media post.
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The reality of SLO PD… 15 police cars showing up and arresting one of the primary leaders of the Black Lives Matter protests/movement in SLO for no reason as soon as they can outnumber her… Fucking disgusting, fuck the police, No justice, no peace. And if you’re watching this and are in SLO but still don’t care to show up and contribute in any way possible… your silence is violence. They wouldn’t say where they were taking her or why they arrested her. ABOLISH THE POLICE…reform isn’t enough to fix a system that was only meant to protect white cis-het people.
Prior to the protest, Arata spoke with Police Chief Deanna Cantrell and told her that the protest would be peaceful, according to the press release. Leaders of the protest communicated to the group of about 300 participants that safety and peace were top priorities.
Protesters gathered in Mitchell Park at around 4 p.m. and later marched north on Highway 101, where they stopped traffic for nearly an hour.
Tension developed between protesters and motorists, and some people yelled at the crowd.
“Protesters damaged the hood of a passenger vehicle and smashed the rear window where a 4 year-old child was in the back seat and had glass shattered on him,” according to the press release.
The press release does not say that Arata incited or had knowledge of this destruction.
“The decision to arrest Arata was made in coordination with the District Attorney’s Office based on Arata’s actions and the actions of the organized group,” the press release read.
In the video of Arata’s arrest, one witness said, “She is not resisting,” as Arata was placed in a police vehicle.
Arata was taken to the San Luis Obispo County Jail where she was booked for participation in a riot, unlawful assembly, conspiracy, unlawful imprisonment and resisting arrest.
Various Instagram pages, including Community Roots Project, posted links to the SLO Bail Fund to encourage donations for Arata’s bail. According to the page’s Instagram story, Arata was released at about 1 a.m. this morning.
The Community Roots Project Instagram posted a story saying, “A lot of us are angry right now. Tianna’s arrest and charges were unjust. There are talks of things being organized to protest the injustice. The community is coming together to support her and her family.”