Bank of America & City Attorney Get Slapped By Judge
Jeffrey Olson, who garnered national attention last week after the San Diego City Attorney brought vandalism charges against him for writing negative things in water soluble chalk on a sidewalk in front of a Bank of America branch has been acquitted by a San Diego jury.
Last year, Olson was part of a protest in front of the branch when Darell Freeman, vice president of Bank of America’s Global Corporate Security began accusing them of running a business with the opposition. Witnesses even say Freeman even threatened to slander Olson at his credit union. According to witness, David Batterson,
“The man identified himself as Darell Freeman, corporate security for the bank. He refused to give me his business card when I asked for it. He told [Olson] that he could, “with one phone call,” get [Olson’s] credit union account canceled at California Coast. He threatened to make the call if [he] kept up the demonstration,”
As the case began going viral and gettin international media attention, the presiding judge, ruled the First Amendment has no place in Superior Court when it comes to vandalism with water soluble chalk. Shore granted Hazard’s motion to prohibit Olson’s attorney Tom Tosdal from mentioning the First Amendment, free speech, free expression, public forum, expressive conduct, or political speech during the trial. He wants trial to focus on whether or not Olson is guilty of vandalism not what his motivations behind the alleged vandalism were.
Freeman and Bank of America lobbied hard for the prosecution of Olson on vandalism. San Diego’s Republican City Attorney Jan Goldsmith wasn’t going to pursue Olson and it was only after Freeman and Bank of America relentlessly prodded the City Attorney’s office that Olson was charged with the 13 counts of vandalism.