A California Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court’s ruling that disqualified the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney from prosecuting the case against community activist Tianna Arata.
Arata, along with Marcus Montgomery, Joshua Powell, Amman Asfaw, Jerad Hill, Samuel Grocott, and Robert Lastra Jr. are charged in connection with a July 2020 Black Lives Matter Protest in San Luis Obispo that blocked Highway 101.
Arata faces 13 misdemeanor counts of false imprisonment, obstruction of a throughfare, unlawful assembly, and disrupting the peace.
In 2020, Arata’s attorneys argued that SLO County District Attorney Dan Dow had made several statements on social media and in public showing bias against the Black Lives Matter movement.
Judge Matthew Guerrero ruled in favor of Arata, barring Dow from further prosecuting the case.
The DA’s office appealed the ruling, with the appeals court affirming Arata’s motion to recuse.
The District Attorney’s Office can now appeal the case to the California Supreme Court.