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GG Police pursue phony criminal charge against woman hit by Minuteman supporter

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  • Duane Roberts
    ... Friday, June 17, 2005 GG POLICE PURSUE PHONY CRIMINAL CHARGE AGAINST WOMAN HIT BY MINUTEMAN SUPPORTER Her home is searched by lawmen while she s at work By
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 17, 2005

      Friday, June 17, 2005


      Her home is searched by lawmen while she's at work


      WESTMINSTER, CA -- When Theresa Dang checked her
      mailbox on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 15th, she
      noticed one of the letters she received that day had
      come from the Orange County District Attorney's
      Office. No problem, she thought. Maybe Tony
      Rackauckas, the District Attorney, had finally sent
      her a letter in response to one that Dang and two
      other people delivered to his Santa Ana office earlier
      this month. But when Dang opened the letter, however,
      she noticed it wasn't from him at all: it was, in
      fact, a criminal complaint.

      In a letter dated Thursday, June 9th, the Orange
      County District Attorney's Office was notifying Dang
      that she was being charged with violating Section
      484(a)-488 of the California Penal Code, "Petty theft
      and Carrying Away", a misdemeanor offense punishable
      by a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment in the Orange
      County jail for up to six months, or both. The letter
      accused Dang of allegedly committing this criminal act
      on the night of Wednesday, May 25th.

      What did she do? Dang wondered. She called the
      District Attorney's Office to learn more about what
      this was all about, but got no response. Little did
      she realize the answer would come the very next day in
      a most unexpected way.

      On the morning of Thursday, June 16th, while Dang was
      at work, the Garden Grove Police raided the
      Westminster home where she lives with her family.
      According to several witnesses, including her father,
      four Garden Grove Police officers arrived at her house
      armed with a search warrant signed by an Orange County
      Superior Court Judge. They went through every room of
      the house she resides at, even searching those known
      to be occupied by her brothers and sisters. But when
      the lawmen found Dang's room, they completely trashed
      it: they overturned her bed and threw all of her
      personal belongings around. It's a mess.

      What were they looking for? According to a copy of the
      search warrant affidavit signed by Garden Grove Police
      Detective Michael Reynolds, they were on the prowl for
      a "Black full sized Maglite with Small diameter
      handle". Say what? Here is the English translation:
      the cops were seeking a black flashlight that can be
      obtained at any Home Improvement store for around $10,
      give or take a few pennies.

      Although Garden Grove Police spent nearly an hour
      rummaging through Theresa's personal belongings, they
      never found what they were looking for. She claims
      that when Detective Reynolds called her up via
      cellphone, he was mad; he accused her of stealing a
      flashlight that had been dropped by a police officer
      on the ground about three weeks ago. "This is a very
      serious matter", Reynolds allegedly told Dang. He
      demanded that she tell him where that flashlight was;
      and if it was no longer in her possession, who had it?

      All of this would be very funny if this were part of a
      script for some comedy show on television. But the
      truth is, this is reality. Did Garden Grove cops take
      time out from their busy schedule of apprehending
      murderers, rapists, bank robbers, and drunk drivers to
      raid somebody's house and look for a flashlight? Yes.
      They did. And it happened here in Westminster,
      California. Yesterday. At 10-o-clock in the morning.

      In one of the worst cases of political repression ever
      seen by the author of this article, the Orange County
      District Attorney's Office and Garden Grove Police
      Department have jointly launched an unprecedented and
      outrageous attack against a young Vietnamese woman
      whose only real crime was to express her dissent with
      the powers that be.

      Theresa Dang was one of about 300 people from around
      Southern California who showed up on May 25th to
      demonstrate against Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist,
      who appeared at the Garden Grove Woman's Civic Club
      that night to speak at a monthly meeting of the
      California Coalition for Immigration Reform, the group
      responsible for putting the racist Proposition 187 on
      the ballot back in 1994.

      During the protest, Dang was thrown to the ground when
      she and three other protesters (including Jim
      Lafferty, Executive Director of the Los Angeles
      Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild) were hit by a
      minivan driven by Hal Netkin, a Van Nuys bigot who
      operates several websites on the internet which bashes
      Mexico and blames "illegal immigrants" from that
      country for all of California's economic problems.

      Although the Garden Grove Police on the scene did
      initially arrest Netkin on charges of "assault with a
      deadly weapon" (especially after repeated demands from
      the mass of protesters who assembled that they take
      immediate action), they declined to pursue this case
      further after he was brought to the station. Netkin
      was released from their custody early the next
      morning, around 1:00 am.

      Theresa was very troubled by this. She was bothered
      that Netkin had been set free, while five protesters
      arrested by Garden Grove Police that night were facing
      criminal prosecution on serious felony charges.
      Seeking justice, she, along with two other people,
      co-authored and signed a letter that was personally
      delivered to the District Attorney's Office on the
      afternoon of Wednesday, June 1st. A press conference
      was later held on the public sidewalk outside.

      In that letter, District Attorney Rackauckas was asked
      that: (1) All charges against the accused protesters
      be dropped; 2) Criminal charges be filed against Hal
      Netkin, and; 3) An independent investigation into
      misconduct be brought against the Garden Grove Police

      Since that time, Theresa has been outspoken in her
      criticism of how the Garden Grove Police Department
      conducted themselves on the night of May 25th. She's
      been appearing quite regularly on KPFK and other mass
      media. Her voice has even managed to be heard on the
      infamous Fox News channel.

      This has apparently struck a raw nerve deep with top
      brass inside the Garden Grove Police Department. So in
      a clear act of retaliation, they are seeking to punish
      Dang by either fabricating or blowing out of
      proportion some incredibly trivial thing she allegedly
      did at the May 25th demonstration.

      We are asking that people throughout the Southern
      California area begin preparing for a mass
      mobilization to defend Theresa Dang against this
      incredibly vicious attack by the combined forces of
      the Orange County District Attorney's Office and the
      Garden Grove Police Department.

      As of this moment, Theresa has retained the services
      of a Los Angeles-based civil rights attorney and is
      currently working with friends and family to form a
      committee to defend herself from this completely
      ridiculous and scurrilous charge.

      Although additional actions are being planned, for now
      we're asking that as many people as possible make
      arrangements to pack the courtroom during her
      arraignment at the West Justice Center, scheduled for
      the morning of June 27, 2005 at 8:30 am. The address
      is 8131 13th Street, Westminster.

      To learn more about what you can do to help Theresa in
      her fight, please keep an eye out for future messages
      posted on this listserv or website; or feel free to
      send a message to the author of this article at the
      above email address.



      Permission granted for reproduction in any non-profit
      publication provided that credit is given to the
      author of this work

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