Petition Closed
Petitioning Attorney General Kamala Harris

Ask Kamala Harris to Take on the Irvine 11 Case!

 

Join the “Irvine 11” in calling for the immediate dismissal of the Orange County District Attorney’s office from their case on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct. In the year-long criminal investigation, the OC DA secretly issued illegal subpoenas and obtained broad search warrants in its alleged felony investigation. In the course of this investigation, the OC DA acquired and relied upon both private and privileged information, in direct violation to the Irvine 11’s constitutional rights. Further, the OC DA acted with discriminatory intent as evidenced by internal documents labeling the case as the “UCI Muslim case” and by public statements made by District Attorney Tony Rackauckus and his chief of staff, Susan Schroeder, insinuating that the students were anti-Semitic and comparing them to the Ku Klux Klan.

In a packed courtroom in Santa Ana, CA, nearly 200 community leaders, students, parents and interfaith leaders gathered to support the eleven UC Irvine and UC Riverside students, who were set to be arraigned for one count of misdemeanor conspiracy to disturb a meeting and one count of misdemeanor disturbance of a meeting for peacefully protesting a speech by Israeli Ambassador, Michael Oren, at UCI more than a year ago. The attorneys for the students requested that the Orange County District Attorney’s office be disqualified and replaced by the California State Attorney General Kamala Harris. The judge continued the arraignment to April 15th.  The hearing for the motion to disqualify the OC DA has not yet been scheduled.
  After the arraignment, Irvine 11 defense attorneys, Jacqueline Goodman, Robert Hickey, Daniel Mayfield, Reem Salahi, and Dan Stormer, UCI Professor Irene Tucker, Rabbi Haim Beliak and Ali Mohammad Sayeed (one of the 11 students facing prosecution) held a press conference in the courthouse to discuss the case and the arraignment.

“The Orange County District Attorney is absolutely wrong in interjecting himself into this process and attempting to criminalize these students who did not commit any violence, did not resist arrest, did not engage in property damage and did not voice hate speech,” Salahi said. “These students merely stood up and expressed deeply rooted political dissent in a manner that was peaceful and tempered.”

Ask Attorney General Kamala Harris to take the Irvine 11’s case by signing the petition today!

 

Letter to
Attorney General Kamala Harris
On February 8, 2010, Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren spoke at UC Irvine. During his speech, 10 students individually stood up and expressed their dissent and then attempted to leave the room. They were all arrested and cited. An eleventh student was arrested as he left the room along with a large number of attendees. All eleven students acted peacefully and did not resist arrest. No person or property was damaged in the course of their protests, no violence ensued, and Ambassador Oren completed his speech stating at one point that he wished those who had left would have stayed. The eleven students, subsequently dubbed “Irvine 11”, underwent extensive administrative proceedings by their respective universities.

Despite the universities’ internal proceedings, the Orange County District Attorney’s office recently filed two misdemeanor charges against all 11 students – a California Penal Code 403 charge of a disturbance of a meeting and PC 182 charge of conspiracy. In the year-long criminal investigation, the OC DA secretly issued illegal subpoenas and obtained broad search warrants in its alleged felony investigation. The OC DA also impaneled a Grand Jury and compelled the testimony of witnesses. In the course of its investigation, the OC DA acquired and relied upon both private and privileged information, in direct violation to the Irvine 11’s constitutional rights. Further, the OC DA acted with discriminatory intent as evidenced by internal documents labeling the case as the “UCI Muslim case” and by public statements made by District Attorney Tony Rackauckus and his chief of staff, Susan Schroeder, insinuating that the students were anti-Semitic and comparing them to the Ku Klux Klan.

The OC DA has clearly demonstrated that it harbors a bias and conflict against the “Irvine 11” that would preclude it from exercising its discretionary functions in an evenhanded manner. Where prosecutorial impartiality is fundamental to our system of justice, the OC DA’s conflict has prejudicially tainted the investigation and current prosecution of the “Irvine 11”. This conflict cannot be remedied.

The “Irvine 11” deserve fair and evenhanded treatment. As a concerned citizen, I ask that you take over this case in place of Orange County District Attorney Rackauckas and his office.

Sincerely,