Tianna Arata will appear in court tomorrow, Sept. 3, for the first time since her arrest after a protest she organized.
Arata potentially faces eight charges: four felony counts of false imprisonment, one felony count of conspiracy and three misdemeanor counts of participating in a riot, resisting or obstructing a peace officer and unlawful assembly.
Arata was arrested on July 21 after a protest she organized. During the protest, participants walked onto Highway 101 and blocked both directions of traffic. One motorist hit a protestor, resulting in other protestors retaliating and damaging the hood of the car and smashing the back window. Police say there was a four-year-old child in the back seat of the car and glass shattered over him during the confrontation.
These are the recommended charges from the San Luis Obispo Police Department, but District Attorney Dan Dow has not announced whether he’ll be pursuing charges against Arata.
In a statement on Aug. 10, Dow said he would announce before the court date on Thursday whether he would pursue criminal charges against Arata. That announcement has not been made yet.
Arata’s case has garnered national attention over this past month. A petition on change.org that demands Dow to not pursue charges against Arata has more than 500,000 signatures.
On Sept. 1, Free Tianna Coalition members delivered the petition and its 500,000 signatures to Dow. He declined to accept the signatures, according to an Instagram post by the coalition.
In response to Dow’s refusal, the Free Tianna Coalition called for support to demand he accept the petition signatures. About 40 activists arrived at the San Luis Obispo County courthouse to support the coalition and Arata.
With Arata’s court date just a day away, The Free Tianna Coalition is asking supporters to come to the courthouse the morning of Arata’s court appearance to demand the charges are dropped.