Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Signs at Metro Center Santa Cruz
by Becky Johnson
November 18, 2009
Santa Cruz, Ca. -- Robert Norse was convicted in June of "trespass" at the Metro Center in downtown Santa Cruz when he went onto the property to investigate reports that Christian religious sermons were being broadcast from the speakers there. He was convicted of trespassing when Judge Ariadne Symons ruled that he had violated a "rule" that you can't stand in front of the six foot horizontal sign in front of the Metro Center.
All photos on this page were taken November 26, 2008, shortly after Norse was cited.
And finally, here NORSE interviews on audiotape the same security guard who had him arrested previously for the same activity. The guard also did not interfere with my openly taking his photograph. Clearly, the staff had been advised of what activities can be prohibited on Metro Center property and what can't. Yet, the prosecution of Norse continuted.
He not only identified himself when asked, he showed us his id card.
Judge Ariadne Symons found Norse guilty of trespass on the public Metro Center property for blocking a sign (there are no rules prohibiting blocking the sign posted nor in any rule book governing the facility, nor did the City submit one during trial), and clearly on November 26, 2008 there was no sign posted prohibiting either standing in front of the sign, nor prohibiting making audio or video recordings at the facility.
Robert Norse through his attorney, David Beauvais attempted to appeal Norse's conviction only to have that appeal abruptly stopped when Beauvais sought a routine extension on November 17, 2009. He was denied that extension by none other than Judge Ariadne Symons who denied an appeal on her own ruling.