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Attorneys for Tianna Arata file motion to disqualify SLO County DA's Office from prosecuting case

Posted at 5:35 PM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 02:16:19-05

Attorneys representing community activist Tianna Arata filed a new motion Tuesday requesting that the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office be disqualified from further prosecuting her case.

Arata is charged with 13 misdemeanors that include obstruction of a thoroughfare, false imprisonment, unlawful assembly, and disturbing the peace by loud noise, in connection with a Black Lives Matter protest in San Luis Obispo on July 21 that police said she was responsible for organizing.

Arata's attorneys argue District Attorney Dan Dow has made several statements on social media and at public events that show an implicit bias against the Black Lives Matter movement.

Court documents suggest Dow's involvement in Facebook groups like "PRotect Paso" show his "need to satisfy his far-right voter base."

Arata's attorneys claim her case is fueled by Dow's "political agenda" and they believe Arata will be unable to have a fair trial if her case continues to be prosecuted by the SLO County District Attorney's Office.

In the Declaration of Counsel, attorney Curtis Briggs argues there is probable cause for the California Attorney General's Office to do a probe of the SLO County DA's Office.

This motion is expected to be brought in front of a judge at Arata's next court date on December 3. If a judge approves the motion, the case will then be sent to the state's Attorney General's Office.

KSBY News reached out to the District Attorney's Office for comment. In an email, Dow said:

"All of our communication will be either in writing or by argument in Court."