No charges for Moms 4 Housing activists, supporters

OAKLAND — A month after their dramatic, early-morning arrests,
the Moms 4 Housing members who were briefly jailed after being
evicted from the home they were squatting in found out Thursday
they will not be charged.

Moms 4 Housing members Misty Cross and Tolani King, along with
supporters Jesse Turner and Walter Baker, were
on misdemeanor charges of resisting and obstructing
the eviction at the West Oakland house. On Thursday, the Alameda
County District Attorney’s office informed all four that they
won’t face charges, said their lawyer, Micah Clatterbaugh.

“The DA did not appear interested in making a big political
issue out of this, out of prosecuting them,” Clatterbaugh

We were just informed that the District
Attorney reviewed the police reports prepared by the @ACSOSheriffs
& declined to press charges against Misty Cross, Tolani King,
and two supporters who were arrested during their eviction. Thank
you for showing up for us today, community.

— Moms 4 Housing (@moms4housing)
February 13, 2020

Assistant District Attorney Teresa Drenick did not immediately
respond to a request for comment.

The Moms 4 Housing activists made headlines in November when
they took over an empty, investor-owned house and squatted there
for two months. At around 5:15 a.m. Jan. 14, Alameda County
deputies broke the door down and evicted the activists, arresting
them and their supporters when they refused to leave.

The four were booked into Santa Rita Jail and had their bail set
at $5,000. All were released later that afternoon. A GoFundMe
set up to raise money for their bail had collected nearly
$43,000 before it was disabled.

Cross, King, Turner and Baker showed up at the Wiley W. Manuel
Courthouse in Oakland on Thursday morning for their scheduled
arraignment, accompanied by about two dozen supporters. A bailiff
told them the District Attorney’s office hadn’t yet decided
whether to file charges, gave them slips of paper with a phone
number and told them to call back at 1 p.m. for an update.

CA – FEBRUARY 13: An attorney representing Moms 4 Housing holds
court slip outside the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse on Thursday, Feb.
13, 2020, in Oakland, Calif. Charges against two of their members
and two supporters have not yet been filed by district attorney in
relation to arrests made during an eviction in January. (Aric
Crabb/Bay Area News Group) 

When they called back, they were told there would be no charges,
Clatterbaugh said.

“This was an incredible victory — this entire situation,”
he said.

Moms 4 Housing built up support from local community members and
even public officials while squatting in the house, and that public
support pressured the city and property owner to give in to their
demands. After the arrests, the owner of the house — real estate
company Wedgewood —
agreed to sell the property
to the Oakland Community Land
Trust, which will allow the activists to move back in. That deal is
still under negotiation.

Shortly after, Oakland City Councilwoman Nikki Fortunato Bas

introduced an ordinance
that would give tenants and affordable
housing nonprofits first dibs to buy residential property going up
for sale.

About 2 dozen @moms4housing
supporters came to court this morning to show support for those
arrested earlier. Carroll Fife of @CalOrganize
says no charges should be filed. “You should not be here,” she
tells them. “This is trash, what’s happening.”

— Marisa Kendall (@MarisaKendall)
February 13, 2020

Source: FS – All – Real Estate News 1
No charges for Moms 4 Housing activists, supporters