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The Persecution of Theresa Dang: Part I

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  • Duane Roberts
    Hello all: Theresa Dang s trial unexpectedly happened to end today, with the jury going into deliberations at around 4:00 pm. We re expecting them to come up
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 30, 2005
      Hello all:

      Theresa Dang's trial unexpectedly happened to end
      today, with the jury going into deliberations at
      around 4:00 pm. We're expecting them to come up with a
      verdict sometime tomorrow morning (December 1st).

      I've just written a brief article about my reflections
      about what happened today in court. Please check
      The Los Angeles Times website to see if they published
      an article about this matter I'm not vouching for it's
      accuracy, but it might contain useful information.

      I'll be writing Part II of this article soon.


      Duane J. Roberts

      Wednesday, November 30, 2005


      Regardless of what the jury decides, the Garden Grove
      and the DA have lost the most important battle


      WESTMINSTER, CA -- Shortly after concluding his
      opening remarks, Orange County Deputy District
      Attorney Erik Petersen showed the jurors who assembled
      in Department W10 on this chilly Wednesday morning a
      small snippet of a videotape that I had the
      opportunity of watching at a friend's house several
      months ago.

      The footage they observed was of a scene taken outside
      the Garden Grove Woman's Civic Club on the night of
      Wednesay, May 25, 2005, where Jim Gilchrist, founder
      of the infamous Minuteman Project, was speaking to a
      small crowd of about 150 adoring fans and supporters.

      The images jurors saw flickering on the television
      before them were of protesters and cops: it's dark and
      you can see people carrying signs; some of them are
      running around, while others shout into bullhorns. If
      they looked deeper into the screen, they would have
      seen that several policemen were surrounding somebody
      they had just tackled to the ground.

      But they also would notice a young Vietnamese woman
      crouching over, picking up something. As she moves
      closer to the camera, the jurors would clearly see
      this woman had a flashlight in her right hand. She
      would walk backward into a protester directly behind
      her, disappearing from sight. But a brief moment
      later, they'd see her again, only this time, without a

      Deputy District Attorney Petersen spent most of his
      time today trying to villify this young Vietnamese
      woman -- Theresa Dang -- for committing what he
      defined as being an "opportunistic crime." Although he
      told the jury he didn't consider what she did as being
      the "crime of the century," nothing stopped him from
      treating her as if she had been Al Capone's mistress.
      He threw the book at her.

      The truth is, Dang didn't commit a crime at all. As
      Dang testified at her trial today, she believed the
      flashlight she picked up off the ground at the May
      25th protest had been owned by the person who had been
      tackled to the ground by Garden Grove policemen. And I
      believe her. Why? Because it's not uncommon for people
      attending protests and demonstrations at night to
      carry flashlights; the images on the videotape showed
      me nothing out of the ordinary.

      For now, the trial is over with, and the jury is in
      the deliberation phase. But regardless of what kind of
      verdict they reach tommorrow, the Garden Grove Police
      Department and the Orange County District Attorney's
      Office have already lost the most important battle --
      the battle for public opinion. It's going to take them
      years to recuperate from the enormous amount of
      ill-will, mistrust, and negative publicity this case
      has generated for them.


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