Dave Rice 12:35 p.m., May 23
Three Arrested at Occupy San Diego; SDPD Sgt. "Was Hearing Voices"
At around 7:30 p.m. on December 29, San Diego Police officers raided the Occupy San Diego general assembly of approximately 25 people at the Civic Center Plaza and arrested three protestors.
A witness identified the arrestees as Hex, “British Will," and Matt Snell.
In the following video, the cameraman can be heard repeatedly asking officers why participants of the general assembly were being arrested.
After ignoring the inquiry multiple times, SDPD Sgt. Joseph Steffen said, “I don’t see why that concerns you.”
Later, Officer Steffen said the arrests were for “Encroachment.”
Municipal Code 54.0110 (Encroachment) reads:
"It is unlawful for any person to erect, place, allow to remain, construct, establish, plan or maintain any vegetation or object on any public street, alley, sidewalk, highway, or other property or public right-of-way, except as otherwise provided by this Code."
The cameraman can be heard asking Steffen several times whose orders he was following to disperse the general assembly.
Steffen eventually responded, “I was hearing voices and the voices told me.”
A man was then arrested apparently under suspicion of being drunk in public (though Steffen's sobriety was never debated).
Steffen told protesters watching the arrest, “If you use profanity, I’m going to arrest you.”
Protesters asked for a legal definition of profanity, to which Steffen responded, “Go home and ask your mom and dad, because they should have told you when you were, like, ten.”
An officer confiscated a box of about 1000 fliers from protester Mike Garcia.
“I told him he could have as many as he likes,” Garcia said when other protesters asked why his personal property was being taken.
Occupiers read the police the declaration of the occupation in a call and response “mic check” and resumed the general assembly.