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Theresa Dang's trial ended Nov. 30

by Message from Duane J. Roberts Saturday, Dec. 03, 2005 at 1:33 AM

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).

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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