Jeremy Marks, 18, was arrested and bizarrely charged with “attempted lynching” last May after an altercation another youth had with a campus police officer in Los Angeles. Marks was among several students who watched Officer Erin Robles get into a physical confrontation with another students in front of a bus stop. L.A. Weekly, which first reported on Marks’ case, says according to video and other witnesses, Marks doesn’t appear to have participated in the altercation in any way, other than to observe and record it.
When the story broke last month, several commenters stated that Marks was charged for recording the scuffle on his cell phone, though from what I’ve read, the “attempting lynching” charge actually stems from allegations Marks yelled “Kick her ass!” during the fight. “Attempted lynching” is a charge police levy at people accused of trying to incite a riot to help a suspect escape police custody (it’s a strange name for that charge, given the actual definition of lynching). But even that appears to be a case of mistaken identity.
Marks was initially facing seven years in prison. He’s facing more serious charges than anyone else involved, and that includes the kid who got into the fight with Robles in the first place (he’s a minor). The L.A. County DA’s office offered a plea which would have required him to serve 32 months in jail. He refused.
Marks was held in jail for seven months until Google engineer Neil Fraser read about his Marks’ on the Internet and sprang for his bail to have Marks home in time for Christmas.
It now appears Marks’ home was raided this week, and in a particularly aggressive manner. The only report of the raid I can find right now is from a website called Liberation, which I’ve never heard of, but bills itself as the “newspaper of the party for socialism and liberation.” So read the report with that in mind.
The family of Jeremy Marks awoke on Jan. 26 at 7:00 am to the sound of nearly 30 Los Angeles Police Department cops bursting into their house in full tactical gear, guns drawn. They searched the house, taking all computers, cell phones, cameras and trashing Jeremy’s bedroom, his parent’s bedroom and the living room.
Police vehicles filled the streets of the predominantly African American neighborhood in Lakeview Terrace. Neighbors were prevented from going into or out of their homes. A next door neighbor had guns pointed at him for trying to retrieve his children from Jeremy’s front porch, where they went every morning to be taken to school by Rochelle Pittman, Jeremy’s mother.
Pittman asked to see a search warrant. She knew that, by law, police must show a valid search warrant before entering a home. But there was none. For nearly 45 minutes, neither the police nor the District Attorney’s officers showed her anything. She continued to demand it until a warrant was produced well after the raid had begun.
And when Pittman asked, many of the invading cops refused to provide their names or badge numbers—a requirement under California law.
As the search ended three hours later, the house interior was unrecognizable. In addition to electronic equipment, Jeremy’s notes, papers and legal documents were seized—many of these documents are privileged attorney-client communications.
Every item used to communicate with the outside world about Jeremy’s case was taken from every member of Jeremy’s family, including his parents’ and siblings’ personal possessions.
The raid took place as Jeremy’s mother was attempting to gather herself and bring her kids and the neighbor’s kids to school. The neighbor’s children were at the front door when police came up with shields and shotguns ready.
Liberation also reports that the student who posted videos of the initial bus stop altercation was also raided, even though he isn’t currently facing any criminal charges.