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Occupy activist gets $60K for 2011 arrest -- City settles with Ray Lutz who sued after trespassing arrest

Union Trib (2013-12-10) Craig Gustafson

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DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO — East County activist Ray Lutz received a $60,000 legal settlement from the city Tuesday stemming from his 2011 arrest for trespassing while trying to register voters in the civic concourse outside City Hall.

Lutz, a former congressional candidate who was active in the Occupy San Diego protests, said the city violated his First Amendment rights with the arrest and sued for battery, false arrest and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Lutz was placed under citizen’s arrest on Nov. 29, 2011, by a security guard working at the building at 1200 Third Ave. at Civic Center Plaza. Police said Lutz rejected the guard’s and San Diego police officers’ requests to leave and remove a table, chair and box from private property in front of the building.

Lutz said the municipal code exempts peaceful political activity on private property designated for public use which is exactly what Civic Center Plaza is.

The council voted unanimously to settle the case Tuesday and give Lutz $60,000. Before the vote, Lutz called on the council to review all of the arrests made in 2011 and 2012 during the Occupy San Diego protests, which he called frivolous and ridiculous.

“These should all be reversed and the arrests expunged from the records,” Lutz said. “This is important. I spent two years on my case, not everybody has the ability to do this. These people deserve the same treatment. ... Please do the right thing and undo the actions of the city of San Diego for others.”

A half-dozen other speakers spoke in favor of Lutz and condemned the city’s actions.

Executive Assistant City Attorney Andrew Jones noted the city didn’t admit any liability with the settlement and said the City Attorney’s Office does its best to uphold the Constitution and defend the Police Department based on the facts of each case.

“I can tell you without any doubt that our approach to it is to take it as we see it, to evaluate it as we see it, and to do what is right based on the facts that are before us,” he said.


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Title Occupy activist gets $60K for 2011 arrest -- City settles with Ray Lutz who sued after trespassing arrest
Publisher Union Trib
Author Craig Gustafson
Pub Date 2013-12-10
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Keywords Freedom Of Speech, Occupy San Diego, Voter Registration Arrest Of Ray Lutz
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Topic revision: r1 - 2013-12-10, RaymondLutz

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