By Miriam Raftery
November 5, 2016 (San Diego) -- U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino on Friday denied a temporary restraining order sought by the NAACP and protesters. The plaintiffs wanted the court to stop El Cajon Police and Sheriff officers from arresting protesters at the site where Alfred Olango was fatally shot by an El Cajon policeman on September 27th.
The judge noted that while law enforcement in riot gear twice declared unlawful assemblies and broke up protests or vigils at the Broadway Village Shopping Center parking lot, on other occasions peaceful protests were allowed to continue unimpeded.
Protesters claimed their civil rights, freedom of speech and assembly under the Constitution were violated. However, police claimed they had valid reasons to declare unlawful assemblies. In one case, police claimed someone threatened to get a gun after an altercation, in the other, protesters were blocking traffic and a vehicle was vandalized.
They contend law enforcement violated the protesters’ civil rights.
Protesters say there have been new incidents since their case was filed. They asked the court to prevent arrests in the future for trespass at the site, but the judge also denied that request, finding no persistent pattern of police abusing the law.