James Barragan, Los Angeles Times, September 4, 2014
Six people arrested during heated immigration protests in July that put the city of Murrieta in the national spotlight have been charged with obstructing officers who were responding to the unruly crowds.
There to protest the overflow transfer of Central American immigrant detainees from Texas to the city’s Border Patrol station, the number of demonstrators started out small, but quickly surged as images of the crowd turning back buses were broadcast nationally.
Pro-immigration protesters Jacqueline Sanchez, 26, Pouyan Bokaei, 33, and Salvador Chavez, 24, of Los Angeles; Jessica Rey, 25, of Menifee; and Janet Mathieson, 22, of Claremont, each pleaded not guilty to one misdemeanor count of obstructing an officer and one felony lynching, defined under California law as taking a person from the lawful custody of an officer by means of riot.
Mathieson, who was in court Wednesday with Rey and Sanchez, was also charged with misdemeanor battery on an officer.
Police say they tried to arrest Mathieson for obstructing an officer and Bokaei interfered. Mathieson then jumped on an officer’s back and the other three defendants followed suit in an attempt to break her and Bokaei free.