For #ChalkthePoliceState2014 Dylan Donnelly and I headed to the Clovis Police Department for some California solidarity, as well as to protest my recent arrest for PC148 while filming a traffic stop in the nearby Lowes parking lot. It came out later that the arresting officer, Jason Smoak lied about the interaction which under PC 118.1 is the equivalent of perjury, resulting in the case being dismissed.
While on social media that day I saw a photo of one of the protesters from Nevada who had also been arrested. They chalked “Your arrest did not scare me” as well as their name. It inspired me, and when we arrived at the walkway to the CPD, that exactly what I wrote. “My name is Brian Sumner, your arrest did not scare me” as well as a chalk outline, and “Fresno Liberty Movement” a local watchdog group for police accountability.
We were walking down the block, when a male and female officer pulled up, and started asking if one of us was “Brian Sumner” We both answered are we being detained. We attempted to walk away, but the female officer wasn’t having it. She interrogated me, while the male cop talked to Dylan.
We were let go with a trespass warning and the information that they would submit a report to the DAs office.
Fast forward just about one year later. I’m on trial for vandalism resulting from using chalk on the Fresno Police Memorial. After the police shooting of Miguel Moreno Torres. The Fresno Bee wanted to interview me about the trial, and I agreed. After talking to the reporter, and parting ways he contacted me VIA social media to inform me of the warrant that was out for the arrest of Dylan and I.
I was completely surprised. I had not only dismissed any aspect of criminal charges being brought against Dylan or myself, but I had been appearing in court about once every month, and it would have been easy for them to schedule me for anther appearance.
The only logical reason I can think for Clovis PD putting a warrant out for my arrest is to get another chance to harass us. Some reason to exert their power over us, and boost their egos. Their “ego” is the only reasonable conclusion I can come to; for bringing criminal charges against someone for writing with chalk on the sidewalk.