No Pepper Spray on Nonviolent Protesters 


Pepper Spray By Q-Tip Trial Delayed One Day

For immediate release: Sept. 3, 2004

Trial Starts September 8

Contact: Karen Pickett (510) 548-3113

San Francisco -- The Pepper Spray by Q-tip trial scheduled to begin Sept.7 will now commence on Wednesday, Sept. 8 at 8:30 am  Jury selection will take place Wed., and opening arguments are expected on Thursday Sept. 9. Trial schedule after Sept. 8-9 will be Monday through Thursday 8:30-3:30. There will be a noontime rally Sept. 8.

Where: Judge Susan Illston's court: Room 10, 19th floor, Federal Building, 450 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco.

National television audiences were jarred when footage was aired of Humboldt County police forcing pepper-spray soaked Q-tips into the eyes of young non-violent activists in 1997.  The swabbing happened at sit-in protests calling for the protection of the ancient redwoods of Headwaters Forest in northern California. Amnesty International called the officers' actions "tantamount to torture."  The activists sued.

Although the incidents drew international outrage and condemnation, state officials have codified the police tactic by incorporating these practices into guidelines for dealing with civil disobedience in California.

Video images, legal documents, other background and links available at . Betacam video news releases and courtroom drawings by court artist K. Rudin are available through the contact phone number (above).


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