Hate Crime, Robbery Charges Dropped Against Occupy Oakland’s “Ice Cream 3″
After months of using false charges to smear three peaceful Occupy Oakland activists in the media, Alameda County prosecutors have dropped hate crime and robbery charges against the “Ice Cream 3.”
Michael Davis, 33; Nneka Crawford, 23; and 25-year-old Randolph Wilkins were scheduled to go to trial on Monday, but knowing a trail would effectively clear all three activists, the prosecution instead cleared Crawford and Wilkins charges, and offered Davis a plea-bargain in which he plead guilty to using chalk to write an anti-police statement near a downtown BART station. Davis has been given a three-year probation sentence and has been ordered to “stay away” from Oakland’s city hall.
Yolanda Huang, an attorney representing Davis told reporters that she was grateful for the court’s decision to drop the bogus charges against her client, and urged the police department to “stop manufacturing criminal charges and pay attention to genuine issues of public safety.”
Police and prosecutors claimed the three had confronted a resident of Oakland after an anti-bank protest on February 22. Kelly Stowers, 42, told police that she was called a “dyke bitch” by Crawford and had her wallet stolen by Davis during the altercation. The defense team says Stowers used racial slurs against Crawford and punched Davis in the chest. In an earlier court appearance, Stowers denied accusations that she called Crawford a “nigger,” but said “she was acting like one.”
Stowers altered her story more than once, originally naming the wrong person in the robbery accusation and admitting she might have left her wallet in a near by store.
All three accused activists have maintained their innocence in the case, saying they feel they were set up from the beginning. I could not agree more. Knowing all three of the accused personally and after having spent months calling them my friends, I know they do not have a hateful bone in their collective bodies. The charges were designed to make Occupy Oakland look like a violent, hateful gang in a time when the spot light was shining bright on the violent and hateful Oakland police department.
I captured the above video footage of Micheal Davis being arrested in connection to the “hate crime & robbery” charges at a bank shut down action the following week, February 28.