Tianna Arata, a young California activist who marched and protested in support of Black lives is now currently fighting for her freedom. The 20-year-old Arata faces five felonies and three misdemeanor charges in relation to a July 21 protest that led to her violent arrest.
According to several reports by local outlet the San Luis Obispo Tribune, Arata spearheaded a five-hour protest in the town of San Luis Obispo on July 21, with some of the reports stating that Arata spoke with SLO PD Chief Deanna Cantrell ahead of the gathering to assure that it would remain peaceful. The protest launched at 4PM local time and eventually headed to a highway where the marchers stopped traffic for about an hour before police arrived on the scene.
The SLO PD claimed in a press release that protestors caused damage to one car and smashed a window where a preschooler was sitting in with glass reportedly raining down on the boy. The press release added that since Arata organized this protest, it was ultimately decided that she would be arrested under guidance from the district attorney’s office.
Arata was reportedly freed on bail the following day after activist groups raised funds in support. Immediately following her arrest, several social media accounts began sharing the video of Arata’s arrest, with witnesses saying that around 15 police units arrived to carry out what appeared to be a tension-filled and physically rough encounter.
On Twitter, the hashtag #FreeTianna has cropped up with Twitter users sharing a GoFundMe to help with Arata’s legal costs and to aid a fund to assist with bail for other activists. Her supporters insist that Arata was only involved with the peaceful portion of the protests and not for whatever transpired with the damaged vehicle. There is also a Change.org petition circulating asking for the support of the public for “Young Protests Leaders” which has well over 60,000 signatures since its launch.
A video of the arrest has been posted below and throughout the gallery. We would like to warn that the images within could be disturbing to some.