April 16, 2024
Jeremy White, one among three Pacific Seaside riot defendants going through trial in late March, has launched a GoFundMe web page. Picture by way of White

About 4:30 a.m. Dec. 2, 2021, Jeremy White’s dwelling in Los Angeles was raided by San Diego and L.A. police and sheriff’s deputies — about 30 in White’s telling.

Jeremy White's motion to drop charges on First Amendment grounds. (PDF)
Jeremy White’s movement to drop costs on First Modification grounds. (PDF)

“That they had full-on AR15s pointed at my chest the place I used to be carrying a bathrobe at my door,” he advised a podcast final month. “Are you certain you could have the best home?”

Handled “like George Soros’ antifa clone,” he and 10 others have been charged with conspiracy to riot and felony assaults at a Pacific Seaside “Patriot March” organized by Donald Trump followers three days after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol invasion.

That day, prosecutors say, White wore black clothes, a fuel masks, a tactical helmet and vest, gloves and was armed with a “tear fuel weapon.”

On Monday, White will stand emotionally bare earlier than Choose Daniel Goldstein.

Having detailed a non-public historical past of childhood household abuse, despair, suicide makes an attempt and the way police violence contributed to his PTSD, White and his professional bono lawyer Curtis Briggs will argue that every one costs ought to be dropped.

He needs to enter a psychological well being diversion program — sparing him any potential jail time. (A jury trial is about for March 25.) He’ll additionally cite, by way of a demurrer, his First Modification rights to speech and meeting — hoping Goldstein will toss out his legal case.

Two different Pacific Seaside riot defendants — Luis Francisco Mora, 32, and Brian Cortez Lightfoot Jr., 27 — face trial alongside him.

However White, a Boyle Heights resident, rejects being “pegged as a ringleader” of the Jan. 9, 2021, counterprotest — one among a whole lot he’s attended through the years.

“I wasn’t in command of something,” he advised the Pod Rattling America podcast. “If I may clarify to them how disorganized (antifa is).”

Briggs says White is in a “means totally different place than another defendant. … He’s by no means touched anyone. … This isn’t felony conduct in any respect.”

Who’s Jeremy Jonathan White. And the way did he come to face years in jail for what the choose as soon as likened to a bar combat?

In an 80-minute Zoom chat with White and San Francisco-based lawyer Briggs, I sought to grasp his activist historical past and present mind-set.

Going into Monday’s 9 a.m. listening to in downtown Superior Court docket (room 1901), White says he’s “nervous however hopeful. I’m making an attempt to remain optimistic about it. And I’m additionally making an attempt to not be too optimistic about it as a result of we by no means know.”

Jeremy White's motion for mental health diversion.
Jeremy White’s movement for psychological well being diversion. (PDF)

White is staging fundraisers. He began a GoFundMe web page to boost $10,000 to defray bills of staying in San Diego for a doable monthlong trial and paying Briggs for a few of his prices. (He’s raised $2,250 to date, Briggs says.)

Like Briggs, he accused District Legal professional Summer time Stephan of waging a political prosecution.

Stephan, he advised the podcast, is an “unabashed right-wing Trump-supporting anti-antifa individual.” In an early court docket continuing, he mentioned, Stephan quoted Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham.

White contends that an “American Guard man with Bowie knife” complained that he was jumped in PB and needed justice.

“So a Nazi went to the DA and demanded a case be constructed — and that’s the place all this got here from,” White mentioned final month. “They’re charging us with conspiracy, however I believe the true conspiracy is the DA’s case with these white supremacists — going after simply leftists.”

Why would White journey to Pacific Seaside amid his brutal expertise with protesters on the intense proper? “As a result of the way in which that they single out and assault people who find themselves half my dimension is unconscionable,” mentioned White, who’s 6-foot-3 and 225 kilos and travels as a medic with first-aid gear.

He recollects incidents he attended at Standing Rock and the 2016 Democratic Nationwide Conference (when he was a “Bernie Bro.”)

“I used to be in Flint and Ferguson after every part occurred and met with Mike Brown’s dad and mom and [BLM leader] Cori Bush,” White advised me. “I’ve had associates who have been 100 kilos soaking moist get damaged ribs from police jamming batons into their chest for simply standing there. I’ve had associates lose eyes, . It’s sick.”

He mentioned the one means he may sq. coming right here and going through that trauma was by cobbling collectively protecting gear — helmet, motorbike pads, “issues like that to maintain these these assaults from having a long-lasting harm as a lot as doable.”

Curtis Briggs, attorney for Jeremy White, at November hearing
Curtis Briggs, lawyer for Jeremy White, realized in regards to the Pacific Seaside case by way of a USA At this time article. Picture by Ken Stone

In reality, Briggs employed a veteran psychologist — Dr. Martin Williams of San Jose — to evaluate White.

In a report submitted to the court docket, Williams wrote that White’s goals have been “self-defense, group protection and deterrence of violence.”

“The go well with was designed to guard Mr. White and included a helmet and respiration equipment,” Williams says. “In my skilled opinion, the ‘go well with of armor,’ Mr. White’s carrying bear spray, in addition to Mr. White’s function of defending others as a medic was a manifestation of Mr. White’s PTSD.”

Additional:

Mr. White hoped that the go well with and the bear spray would defend him from the trauma that he feared, anticipated and re-experienced, all as a result of his situation of PTSD. … He anticipated others to be attacked and even shot. For that cause, his helmet features a sticker on the again that states, “If the capturing begins, stand behind me.”

Williams concluded:

Incarceration … can be extraordinarily harmful to his effectively being, as he has already made two suicide makes an attempt and has restricted coping abilities that may allow one other particular person to regulate to imprisonment.

I take into account any imprisonment to be life threatening to this man with a historical past of childhood abuse, grownup PTSD, home abuse and severe despair. Ought to a sentence be essential, I like to recommend that it contain options to incarceration. I’m ready to testify beneath oath concerning the above skilled conclusions.

In his demurrer movement, Briggs says the 4th District Court docket of Attraction in January issued a broadcast opinion “demonstrating Mr. White is deserving of Psychological Well being Diversion.”

A Grand Jury, and amended indictment, lower White’s costs down from six to 2 — with the one assault rely associated to his stating “sufferer R.L. to different co-conspirators.

Jeremy White in file of character testimonials for Torrance case.
Jeremy White gained $75,000 — principally going to his lawyer — after settling a police brutality go well with towards the Metropolis of Torrance.

White and Briggs say the “stating” was towards an alley, not a sufferer. Briggs acknowledges the prosecution’s proof of Sign chats across the Jan. 9 riot discussing his anti-fascist viewpoints, however “that’s not related to a conspiracy.”

“That’s like saying: Oh, Democrats are conspiring,” he mentioned. White has been a social justice activist for years.

In 2019, whereas attending a Torrance city corridor with BLM protesters, the mayor ordered police to clear the room.

“Mr. White had exited the room however noticed the police about to strike the mom
of against the law sufferer,” mentioned the Williams report. “Mr. White tried to intervene and was badly overwhelmed by 4 or 5 officers. Mr. White skilled a damaged again from being hit with the baton.”

White ultimately gained $75,000 in a settlement with Torrance.

“That beating led to PTSD flashbacks and a bodily tic such that Mr. White’s head
reportedly jerks whereas he’s making an attempt to go to sleep. He additionally experiences screaming whereas falling asleep and as he wakes up,” Williams mentioned. “The ache induced Mr. White to plan a suicide with helium inhalation.”

White’s associates intervened after he had started giving freely his issues.

White, whose dad and mom labored in Hollywood (father as a teamster, mom in accounting), is a manufacturing designer within the movie trade, who has performed principally business work for the reason that actors strike.

“That was all that was accessible final yr. With a background in building and graphic design, he’s had “quite a bit any attention-grabbing film credit.” He did “pickup pictures” on the primary John Wick film.

“I did an autism profit known as ‘Evening of Too Many Stars’ with Adam Sandler — that was plenty of enjoyable.”

Jeremy White at justice reform rally.
Jeremy White at justice reform rally. Picture by way of court docket doc

However with doable trial bills forward, White has an added fear — in regards to the artwork division workforce he employs.

“Financially, I’m not ready to do something,” he mentioned. “I’m hurting proper now. … The producers that I work for have had a tough time getting tasks off the bottom this yr. I’ve about 20 jobs lined up on the horizon, however none of them commencing quickly…. So yeah, it’s been very troublesome.”

White calls the method of looking for a psychological well being diversion “extremely troublesome.”

“It’s like assembly a brand new therapist and trauma-dumping your entire life after which not getting the remedy afterwards,” he mentioned. “I didn’t notice how a lot it was going to actually have an effect on me. … However doing it sounds prefer it’s an extremely useful factor for the case. So it’s price it finally.”

White initially was represented by a lawyer with the Workplace of Assigned Counsel. Briggs noticed that White wasn’t getting the assistance he wanted after being a guide to the appointed lawyer and took over the case 13 months in the past.

(White says he missed court docket dates as a result of the lawyer wouldn’t inform him after they have been developing. “It’s not answering the telephone for weeks on finish making an attempt to get me to plead the 5 felonies and 7 years in jail with no legal document,” he added.)

White calls Briggs, mentored by famed activist lawyer Tony Serra, “a real godsend.”

Says Briggs: “There’s not many instances which might be this necessary to the Structure. … That is the instances we stay for … You’re fortunate should you get one or two of those instances in a profession.”