“Shortly after Mr. Petrelis arrived to put his signs behind Mr. Arntz, a sheriff`s deputy interrupted the press conference to express their opposition to the sign`s message and say, “Please. Gimme a break. Three sheriff`s deputies then arrested Mr. Petrelis, pushed him and dragged him out of the press conference, adding that he was physically injured,” Wagda said. In a copy of Wagda`s town hall policy, it states that “signs affixed to sticks or pylons are not permitted at the town hall. Banners are only permitted in the event of specially licensed events or services, subject to a written agreement with the City. Small paper or cardboard panels, which are no larger than 11 x 17 ” , can be worn by hand.” “Shortly after the start of the press conference, Mr. Petrelis stood calmly and silently behind the city`s chief electoral officer, John Arntz, holding two small paper signs with the message “SUZY IS CORRUPT” (referring to Ms.
Loftus) in hand,” according to a press release from Donald Wagda, petrelis` lawyer, on February 10. “Mr. Petrelis` signs were in “perfect compliance” with the town hall`s real estate policy, which regulated the wearing of signs at City Hall, according to the allegations set out in the complaint. The San Francisco district attorney`s office did not immediately respond to a request for advice, but in a telephone conversation with the Bay Area Reporter on Monday, Petrelis said the incident was “traumatic.” Strickland said she was intimidated while holding a demonstration by a person on the steps of the town hall against police inaction. According to the complaint, Petrelis accuses the violation of his First Amendment`s rights to freedom of expression, petition and press, his right to probable cause, his 14th right to amend a regular trial and other civil rights laws. The first attempt to Talk about Jon Arntz didn`t go very well…. pic.twitter.com/Y6nGUxEXSu – Heather Knight (@hknightsf) November 7, 2019 The complaint accuses Petrelis of violating the right to press freedom because the arrest has hampered his ability to speed up. Petrelis participates in public events and reports on his social media sites, according to the complaint. November 6 was the day after election day. At the time, no one knew who was going to win the hotly contested race for the district attorney, which took place after several rounds of voting between suzy Loftus, then district attorney, and Chesa Boudin, then assistant prosecutor.
(Boudin eventually won the race.) “The First Amendment gives the press and the public a positive right to access dignified messages,” Wagda said in the press release. “As soon as a public servant decides to do a general press conference, the exclusion of a citizen journalist, based on that journalist`s political point of view, runs counter to the First Amendment.” Petrelis is seeking punitive damages against three sheriff`s deputies to the tune of $1 million each, as well as medical expenses and general damages. While the appointment was widely seen as an example of political patronage and an attempt to tip the balance in favour of Loftus, which the mayor had previously supported in the November elections, no evidence was revealed that it was the result of a corrupt plan. Loftus did not immediately respond to a request for notice. A longtime gay activist has filed a lawsuit against San Francisco, claiming that his First Amendment and other constitutional rights had been violated. The complaint filed on February 10 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California accuses Michael Petrelis, 61, of being unlawfully arrested for a peaceful and non-verbal demonstration at San Francisco City Hall on November 6. Petrelis said he contacted Wagda after learning that lawyer Shawn Sunshine Strickland, the “San Francisco Supergirl,” helped win a $13,000 comparison as a B.A.R.