LA County to Use Public Funds to Aid Defense of Pro-Palestinian Protestors Arrested at UCLA

LA County to Use Public Funds to Aid Defense of Pro-Palestinian Protestors Arrested at UCLA

California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers detain a protestor while clearing a pro-Palestinian encampment after dispersal orders were given at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus, on May 2, 2024. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

5/17/2024

Updated: 5/17/2024

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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a motion earlier this month to direct the county public defender’s office to provide defense attorneys and legal resources for the pro-Palestinian activists who were arrested at the University of California–Los Angeles (UCLA) earlier this month.
The board members voted 4–1 May 7 to allocate $1 million from the county’s public defense funds to the several hundred protesters detained in the protest.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger voted against the motion. During the meeting, she questioned the move saying public defenders are already available to defendants who cannot afford legal representation.
Pro-Palestine protestors link arms across from members of law enforcement in an encampment at UCLA in Los Angeles on May 2, 2024. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

Pro-Palestine protestors link arms across from members of law enforcement in an encampment at UCLA in Los Angeles on May 2, 2024. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

Several UCLA students spoke during the meeting’s public comment advocating for the resolution, including multiple members of the school’s Undergraduate Students Association Council, which represents the undergraduate study body at the university.
The move comes after the LA County Public Defenders Union called on the district and city attorney’s offices not to press “life-altering” charges against those arrested during the protest.
Meanwhile, groups like the National Lawyers Guild had already been providing legal aid to the arrested protesters at UCLA, according to reports by the school’s student radio station.
From April 30 to May 2, hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters set up a large encampment on UCLA’s campus and clashed with hundreds of pro-Israel counter-protesters May 2, prompting police to respond to the scene, at the request of university officials.
Officers who responded arrested more than 200 protesters, who face misdemeanor charges of failing to disperse, according to Los Angeles Police Department Chief Dominic Choi.
UCLA is also facing lawsuits this week after Jewish students and faculty claimed administrators failed to protect them during the protests.
A Jewish student sued UCLA officials May 13 in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging civil rights violations, negligence, assault and battery, and breach of contract.
Her lawsuit, filed by Los Angeles attorney Michael Reznick, asks the court for an order barring the creation and sponsoring of a “dangerous condition” at the campus.
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Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

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Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

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