August 20, 2020

The San Luis Obispo County Democratic Party (SLOCDP) is deeply disturbed by the San Luis Obispo Police Department’s recommended charges against Black Lives Matter activist Tianna Arata. We call on District Attorney Dan Dow to drop the unwarranted, heavy-handed felony charges against her, and look to the San Luis Obispo City Council to publicly address the incident directly, as well as to implement corrective action to reverse the political weaponization of the city’s police department.

Our County Sheriff Ian Parkinson’s inflammatory words — which prompted the civil activism of our friends and neighbors — and the injection of incendiary commentary by our District Attorney during a First Amendment-protected gathering, violate our democratic principles, divide our community, and corrupt the rule of law. SLOCDP condemns attempts to use our legal system to stifle free speech and further partisan political agendas. Instead of escalating tensions, SLOCDP demands fair, just, and equitable treatment for all people by our Sheriff and District Attorney, as well as by the various chiefs of police throughout our county, and calls on all elected officials in our county to provide the robust oversight which will guarantee it.

SLOCDP declares that weapons of war have no place in our community, especially military grade chemical weapons such as those used on protesters during a peaceful demonstration on June 1, 2020. Because the possession of such weapons is unnecessary and dangerous, and their use contributes to our county becoming known nationally as a place where law enforcement tramples on the 1st amendment, they must be renounced and abandoned.

SLOCDP will continue to challenge and work to dismantle the structures that generate enduring racial, economic, political, and social inequity. We will promote racial justice through fair, just, and equitable governing of all public-serving institutions and in the formation of public policy. We condemn the disproportionate prosecution of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, evidence of institutional racism. We will continue to push for societal transformation, to make it clear that black lives matter and that there is no place for racism in our country and in our county.

Press/Media Contact: John Alan Connerley –