Black Lives Matter leader Tianna Arata was arrested last month by the San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) after a protest she organized turned violent.
The 20-year-old California-based activist organized a demonstration involving more than 300 people who blocked a highway and attacked a vehicle with a 4-year-old child inside.
According to police, Tianna Arata assured the SLOPD ahead of the rally that it would be a peaceful protest.
The San Luis Obispo DA this week filed five felony charges against Arata, including four felony counts of false imprisonment, and one felony count of conspiracy.
She was also hit with three misdemeanor charges: resisting or obstructing a peace officer, inciting a riot, and unlawful assembly.
Arata is facing 15 years in prison.
Activist Tianna Arata was arrested on July 21 by the San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) in California after police said a protest she organized turned violent.
In a statement released following Arata’s arrest, the department said SLOPD Police Chief Deanna Cantrell had spoken with Arata ahead of the rally and had been assured that the protest would be peaceful.
However, SLOPD said the protest, which grew to a demonstration involving approximately 300 people, got out of hand when demonstrators marched onto a highway and, at one point, launched an assault on a passenger vehicle, despite a 4-year-old child being inside.
It is unclear what led up to the incident, but SLOPD said protesters damaged the hood of the vehicle and smashed the rear window, causing glass to shatter on the 4-year-old, who was sitting in the back seat.
According to police, protesters also targeted at least two other vehicles upon exiting the highway, with some demonstrators seen chasing down and throwing objects at one car.
The protest, police said, “resulted in significant public safety risks for protesters and community members.”
“I just turned 20 last month, there’s so much that I want to accomplish,” Arata told The Tribune. “And I’ve been through so much struggle in my life that dealing with this, it’s just, like, I want to be able to overcome it and to go on to the new steps of my life.”
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