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

by Duane J. Roberts Saturday, Jun. 18, 2005 at 2:14 AM

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.


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 ,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 ,

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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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 20 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Praise for GG Police and OC DA Hellfire USA Saturday, Jun. 18, 2005 at 6:09 AM
More George Bush Fascism Fredric L. Rice Saturday, Jun. 18, 2005 at 7:23 AM
Dear Freddy Hellfire USA Saturday, Jun. 18, 2005 at 8:08 AM
Hellfire USA A Fly On The Wall Saturday, Jun. 18, 2005 at 9:19 AM
Pretty Blatant Harrassment FUBAR Saturday, Jun. 18, 2005 at 9:44 AM
slightly off-topic elle Saturday, Jun. 18, 2005 at 9:17 PM
To Freddy and all civil rights activist Unbiased_Va Sunday, Jun. 19, 2005 at 10:38 AM
Don't go near the Minutemen Karen B Sunday, Jun. 19, 2005 at 3:24 PM
Don't even go there Elle! Elle is so stupid Sunday, Jun. 19, 2005 at 3:26 PM
Anit-Communists Freedom or Death Sunday, Jun. 19, 2005 at 7:10 PM
Yeah. I could tell. }:-} Fredric L. Rice Wednesday, Jun. 22, 2005 at 10:40 AM
I was there me Saturday, Jun. 25, 2005 at 4:52 PM
Another liar bites the dust Duane J. Roberts Saturday, Jun. 25, 2005 at 6:57 PM
Another Liar (Dang) Bites The Dust Dang "Gringo" Sunday, Jun. 26, 2005 at 2:08 AM

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