February 21, 2024

 A choose denied a request from protection attorneys Friday to take away the San Diego County District Legal professional’s Workplace from the prosecution of a gaggle of self-proclaimed anti-fascists charged in reference to a 2021 Pacific Seashore protest that broke out into brawls.

In a current courtroom submitting, Curtis Briggs, who represents one of many folks charged in reference to the protest, argued San Diego County District Legal professional Summer time Stephan’s workplace confirmed bias by prosecuting solely anti-fascists who attended the Jan. 9, 2021, “Patriot March” protest, and never those that attended the occasion in assist of then-President Donald Trump.

Briggs alleged that in Stephan’s marketing campaign for District Legal professional in 2018, antifa was represented in her marketing campaign supplies “as an ‘assault’ on public security.” Stephan’s marketing campaign web site featured an image of billionaire George Soros — who had donated to her opponent — in entrance of a backdrop of antifa marchers and with a subtitle “Anti-Regulation Enforcement $$$ is coming to San Diego.”

The lawyer additionally alleged Stephan’s workplace has a historical past of declining to prosecute members of far-right organizations who commit violence.

In its personal submitting, the District Legal professional’s Workplace responded by itemizing plenty of high-profile hate crime prosecutions carried out in San Diego County whereas Stephan headed the workplace.

Briggs, arguing that office-wide bias will stop his consumer from receiving a good trial, sought to have the California Legal professional Basic’s Workplace take up the case as an alternative and was joined in his movement throughout a Friday courtroom listening to by attorneys representing a few of the different defendants charged within the case.

In the course of the listening to, Briggs performed numerous video clips from Jan. 9, which he stated confirmed pro-Trump supporters participating in felony conduct, but none had been prosecuted.

The lawyer additionally alleged that the grand jury which indicted the defendants was intentionally not proven sure proof that might have incriminated pro-Trump protest attendees.

Prosecutors from each the D.A.’s Workplace and the Legal professional Basic’s Workplace argued Briggs had not proven that there was any battle of curiosity that might warrant disqualifying the District Legal professional’s Workplace from the case.

Choose Daniel Goldstein listens to Curtis Briggs, defese attiorney for Jeremy White. Picture by Ken Stone.

Deputy Legal professional Basic Britton Lacy stated Briggs’ movement was based mostly on “unfounded assertions” that there was a connection between Stephan’s marketing campaign statements and the protest case.

“There isn’t any factual foundation demonstrating that what occurred 5 years in the past has any impression or dictated the charging selections right here,” Lacy stated.

San Diego Superior Courtroom Choose Daniel Goldstein denied Briggs’ request on the conclusion of the listening to.

In an announcement issued after the listening to, District Legal professional’s spokesman Steve Walker stated, “As famous in our courtroom filings, the District Legal professional’s report of elevated hate crime prosecutions and defending probably the most weak in San Diego County is evident, in addition to her dedication to defending our neighborhood from violence it doesn’t matter what the supply is of such crimes. The District Legal professional’s Workplace stands prepared to maneuver ahead with the pursuit of honest and equal justice on this severe assault case.”

Of the 11 initially charged, 4 have instances that stay pending and are set to go to trial subsequent yr. Others have pleaded responsible and a few have been sentenced.

After denying the disqualification movement, Goldstein expressed considerations over the political ambiance that might cling over the eventual trial, ought to it start as anticipated within the spring through the presidential major elections.

The choose stated ought to circumstances amid the trial mirror something just like what occurred on Jan. 9, it may have a dramatic impact on jurors and add “stress exterior the courtroom.”

As such, Goldstein urged the attorneys to think about settling the case by way of plea presents.

“I warning all people in regards to the surroundings and the occasions that we’re going to be attempting this case in. If we’re selecting a jury in March, possibly April, it’s going to be on the warmth of the political season,” Goldstein stated.