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Page 12
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Bob Hood: Trial Underway


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The trial of Bob Hood began on Dec. 2nd, but thus far, little progress has been made. Hood, a member of Oakland, California VVAW/WSO, was attacked and brutally beaten by Oakland PD Officer Ted Burrows on Feb. 6th. He was then arrested for "assaulting" Burrows wit ha deadly weapon; a 3" pocket knife that was found in Bob's pocket after he had been handcuffed.

Though the trial has officially begun, the defense has already rejected two judges and is awaiting a superior court decision to get rid of a third. The first judge was pre-empted by the defense and stepped down. The second judge granted a motion for a mistrial and was thus disqualified from the case. The mistrial was granted as a result of a defense motion asking that the government not be allowed to introduce hearsay evidence concerning the SLA. The judge agreed to grant this motion if the defense motion would not introduce information concerning the past record of Officer Burrows. (Eleven citizens complaints have been filed against Burrows in the last 4 years--eight of which were for brutality). Since the information concerning Burrows is crucial to Bob's defense, this was not accepted and the defense moved for, and was granted, a mistrial.

Now Bob's defense is trying to deal with the third judge appointed to hear the trial. The defense has challenged him because he had previously tried to get Bob's attorney thrown out of law school and prevent him from being admitted to the bar. As this third judge has refused to step aside, the matter has gone to the appeals court to be resolved. If the appeals court rules against Hood, the trial will probably begin the following day. If it rules in favor of Hood, a new judge will have to be selected and a new trial date set. Regardless of which judge hears the case, it looks as though the government will be allowed to use hear-say evidence concerning the SLA to prejudice the jury against Bob Hood.

The intent of this attack on Bob and VVAW/WSO is clearly to try and harass or destroy the organization in Oakland. But as Bob has pointed out, they have utterly failed in their efforts. Not only has the chapter survived the 11 months of harassment, but it has doubled its membership and expanded its work within the community.

(For more information contact: VVAW/WASO, 4919 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, CA 94609. Tel. (415) 658-7806)


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