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Tianna Arata and three co-defendants have court hearing Thursday morning

Tianna Arata Petition
Posted at 7:06 AM, Oct 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-22 17:00:20-04

UPDATE (9:48 a.m.) - The arraignment for four Black Lives Matter activists charged in connection with a protest that took place in San Luis Obispo on July 21 was continued Thursday to early December to give three of the defendants more time to review the case files.

Marcus Montgomery, Joshua Powell, and Amman Asfaw were charged in the case last Friday, becoming co-defendants with protest organizer Tianna Arata.

Arata was previously charged with 13 misdemeanors that include obstruction of a thoroughfare, false imprisonment, unlawful assembly, and disturbing the peace by loud noise.

Montgomery is charged with false imprisonment, obstructing the free movement of a person in a public place, and resisting or delaying a peace officer. Powell is charged with resisting or delaying a peace officer, and Asfaw faces a charge of false imprisonment.

During the protest on July 21, demonstrators blocked Highway 101 and police claimed some protesters committed acts of vandalism.

A large crowd gathered outside the San Luis Obispo County Courthouse Thursday morning in protest, calling on the district attorney to "drop the charges."

Following the court hearing, Arata's attorney spoke to the crowd.

Arata, Montgomery, Powell, and Asfaw are due back in court on December 3.

Three additional people face charges in connection with the July 21 protest. Robert Lastra Jr., Sam Grocott, and Jerad Hill are due for their first court appearance on November 16.

Lastra and Hill both face charges of vandalism and false imprisonment and Grocott faces three charges of false imprisonment.

(7:06 a.m.) - Local Black Lives Matter protest organizer Tianna Arata and three co-defendants, Marcus Montgomery, Joshua Powell and Amman Asfaw, are due at the San Luis Obispo County Courthouse Thursday, October 22 at 8:30 a.m.

Race Matters SLO and supporters are expected to rally outside the courthouse at 7:30 a.m.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the courthouse for her last hearing on Sept. 3, in support of Arata and Elias Bautista, who were both arrested following a protest on July 21. During that protest, demonstrators marched onto Highway 101 and a car was damaged.

Thursday's hearing is a continued arraignment after Arata did not enter a plea on Sept. 3. She faces 13 misdemeanors charges connected to her involvement in the July protest.

She faces 13 misdemeanor charges including six counts of obstruction of a thoroughfare, five counts of false imprisonment, one count of unlawful assembly and one count of disturbing the peace by loud noise.

We will continue to provide updates of the court hearing on air and online as more information becomes available.