#FREETIANNA: Black Youth Activist Faces 15 years In Prison For Organizing Against Police Brutality

by Natalie Valencia

20 year old youth activist Tianna Atara was arrested on July 21st in San Luis Obispo, CA during a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest and now faces 8 charges and possibly 15 years in prison.

The SLO Police Department arrested Atara on charges of four felony counts of false imprisonment, one felony count of company, one count of resisting or obstructing a peace officer, a misdemeanor; and once misdemeanor count of unlawful assembly.. Another protester, Elias Bautista, 22, was also arrested after the event had peacefully subsided. Bautista is being charged with two felony counts of resisting a peace officer with force, and taking another person from custody.

San Luis Obispo Tribune states both have an arraignment date scheduled for Sept. 3.

Atara was arrested near Mitchell Park around 8 p.m. while she and other demonstrators were loading up a car after the protest had already dispersed. 

Video footage of Tianna Atara arrest shows her not resisting arrest. 

Atara led a peaceful protest in awareness of Black Lives Matters and police brutality. According to @melissayumm, Atara and them were not involved with incident from a driver ramming into protesters that broke out during the protest.


According to SLO CHP public statement release, “The City of San Luis Obispo supports peaceful protests,” said Police Chief Deanna Cantrell, “but we will not support violent acts and will continue to take action to protect our community.”

Yet while SLO CHP has time to arrest Black and Brown youth organizing for peaceful protests, clearly also have the time to cover up their stolen gun due to a gross neglect and resulted in illegal search of home without a warrant the arrest of a couple on charges of child neglect for having a messy house.

R.A.C.E Matters, a Black led multiracial anti-racism organization wrote a statement on their group’s Facebook urging Dan Dow, DA of San Luis Obispo, to not pursue police recommendations of the charges.

“Young people in our community have been putting in the work to learn and grow in their activism; and this movement and moment demand that we all learn and grow in our own ways…This decision by the San Luis Obispo Police Department, leaves us wondering about how their actions reflect their expressed commitments to “affecting positive change” and “cultivating a culturally inclusive environment”. We urge Dan Dow to forge a path toward healing — by not pursuing SLOPD’s recommendations.”


To support the release and charges dropped of Tianna Atara, as well as a GoFundMe for Legal Costs can be found here.
Link to support of Elias Bautista legal costs found here.

Top photo: Photo of Tianna Atara peacefully organizing during BLM protest in SLO. Taken from Atara’s Petition link. 


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