california appeals court unanimously rules that stay-away order was constitutional

by Tim Phillips

On December 30, 2011, police started writing citations against people whose items were on walkways in Oscar Grant Plaza, where Occupy Oakland had set up tents with a city permit. As an Oakland police officer was grappling with a female demonstrator, Cameron Rose allegedly hit the officer in the head with a metal folding chair. Yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle article describes the incident:

When one woman refused an officer’s demand for identification and started to walk away, the officer grabbed her. She struggled, another woman tried to pull her away, and when two more officers grabbed that woman, Rose struck one of them from behind with a steel folding chair, the court said. He fled but was arrested a month later. Ten others had been arrested after the protest.

Rose was acquitted of a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon, but convicted of resisting an officer and misdemeanor assault. The judge did not jail Rose, instead putting him on probation for five years and ordering that he stay out of a six-square-block area in downtown Oakland including City Hall and Oscar Grant Plaza. (Rose was allowed to travel through the restricted area via certain modes of public transportation.) Rose claimed the stay-away order was unconstitutional, but on Thursday a California appeals court unanimously ruled that the restriction was “carefully designed to promote rehabilitation.” According to the court of appeal opinion,

After considering Rose’s volatile and criminal history at that specific location as well as his mental illness, the trial court reasoned that restricting Rose from that small area would help him successfully complete his probation.