Stockton, CA - Stockton Police Officers arrested 12 Black Lives Matter Stockton members on Tuesday night, March 7, 2017, in two separate incidents. Three BLM members were arrested for attacking a homeless man and resisting arrest, witnessed by an Officer, and the remaining nine BLM members were arrested for unlawfully marching in the street and resisting arrest.
The Stockton Police Department issued the following statement on Facebook on Tuesday night:
"Tonight after the City Council meeting, there was a protest by a group who identify themselves with Black Lives Matter. During the protest, a Sergeant saw several protesters attack an uninvolved man who appeared to be a transient at MLK Plaza across from City Hall. The suspects all started punching and kicking him while he was down. Officers responded to attempt arrests. Three of the suspects were arrested, but two made good their escape. Most of the protesters charged the scene and interfered with officers. They had to be pushed back. The assault victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment.
After this incident, the protesters entered the street, refusing to allow traffic to pass. Officers made several attempts to get them to the sidewalk, and were unsuccessful. The protesters continued to run ahead and get into traffic. They eventually marched to the Police Department. Several of them refused to clear the street and were arrested. A few of them ran onto the freeway on-ramp and attempted to enter the freeway. They were stopped and two were arrested. Two protesters were transported to an area hospital to be treated for minor injuries.
This is yet another unfortunate example of an assault by this group on an uninvolved Stockton citizen, similar to the criminal assault that took place in September 2016 in the Red Robin parking lot. Lawful, peaceful assemblies are important and supported by our Department. However, violence and taking over streets endangers public safety and simply cannot be tolerated."
The three Black Lives members arrested for assaulting the homeless man and their charges were: Gabriel Mendez, age 18, battery and resisting arrest; Joseph Pino, age 18, battery; and Christian Lorena, age 22, battery and resisting arrest.
Two Black Lives Matter activists were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
Do you think that illegally blocking traffic as a form of protest needs to be prosecuted more seriously? We'd like to hear what you think. Please let us know in the comments.