Protest at the Humboldt DA's Office, April 8, 2010



In the interest of justice,” the Humboldt County District Attorney, Paul Gallegos, needs to decline from charging Kimberly Starr and Ray Thompson, of Redwood Curtain CopWatch, with any crimes stemming from their March 15, 2010 arrest. We insist that the DA's office today officially put this case to an end. The arrests of Ms. Starr and Mr. Thompson, while they were engaged in copwatch activities (observing and recording police activity), were warrantless, unjustified, and clear violations of their civil liberties. Now , almost a month later, the DA's office continues to say that the case is “pending.”


Ms. Starr and Mr. Thompson signed a 'promise to appear' on April 6th, and were prepared to do that, but were not on the court calendar. Now, if the DA decides to charge them within the next 11 months (he has a year to file charges), Ms. Starr and Mr. Thompson's civil liberties would again be at risk, having neither notice of such charges nor the correct date to appear. Warrants for their arrests would be issued by the court.


This happens all of the time. To many people.


In 2005, Ms. Starr was falsely arrested by the Sheriff's Dept., and when she was released from jail, she sent fax, email, phone calls, and a hand-delivered letter to DA Gallegos requesting NOTICE if and when he decided to file criminal charges against her. Despite his agreement to give her notice, he failed to, and a month later, warrant for Ms. Starr's arrest was issued by the court- without her knowledge.


This should not happen again.


When there is a warrant for someone's arrest, they are in constant danger of arrest, incarceration, and the accompanying loss of rights. If a person is driving a car, participating in protest, or simply identified by an officer while there is a warrant for her/his arrest, her/his life can be affected dramatically.


For Paul Gallegos to reject the charges now is the right thing to do- rather than drag this out and cause Ms. Starr and Mr. Thompson to walk around not knowing when or if there is a warrant out for their arrests. The arrests were bogus to begin with; we want an end to the harassment and ever-looming threat of yet another loss of liberty.




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