A San Diego woman said Thursday that she has been threatened with arrest and a fine if she holds a second “freedom rally” this weekend against the state’s stay-at-home order amid the coronavirus fight.
The woman, Naomi Soria, is being represented by the Center for American Liberty and the Dhillon Law Group in San Francisco.
Her lawyers said in a statement that “the charged protester had shared information” about last week’s protest on social media, “which may have led to the authorities deciding to single her out for punishment.”
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She took to social media to announce that she “will be arrested on Sunday for exercising my constitutional rights.” She said she has attorneys ready and an “entire team here to protect me but I need your help. Centers (sp) for American Liberty is assisting with my cause and has put up a way for you to help fundraise the money for my attoneys fees and any fees involved in this fight.”
CBS 8 reported that Soria was one of hundreds at a Saturday protest. She said she was informed that she was facing possible misdemeanor charges that could result in a 90-day jail sentence and $1,000 fine. She later announced another rally at Pacific Beach.
The news station said it reached out to San Diego Police and was told that Soria was in violation of the county’s public health order because she organized the gathering.
“They can’t stop me,” she told the station. “I’m exercising my God-given constitutional rights and I’m protected by all the amendments.”
The Times of San Diego reported that Mara Elliot, the city attorney, played down the prospects of any arrests and said as many as 20,000 cases are referred to her office each year.
“Case review itself can take weeks, and sometimes longer, to determine if misdemeanor charges will be filed,” the spokeswoman told the paper. “Attorneys in the Criminal Division continue to review cases despite changes in their work environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Mark Meuser, an attorney with the Dhillon Law Group, told the paper that he was contacted by Soria in a Facebook message and listened in on a subsequent phone call with police.
“I heard the police officer say that they are recommending that the city attorney issue a warrant for her arrest,” he said.