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What’s Next For ‘The Justice 8?’ Judge Denies Motion Requesting Law Enforcement Personnel Records, While Attorneys Fight for a Change of Venue and More

Attorney Nicholas Rosenberg said that his client, Edin Enamorado, attended a council meeting days before his arrest, during which the Mayor allegedly said to him, “We have a surprise coming.” The activists' trial is now set for April 29th.

Photo by: Janette Villafana

A month after their last court hearing, the seven remaining street vending activists who were arrested last December on allegations that involved conspiracy, assault, kidnapping, and more, returned to court this past Wednesday.

Around 10:55 A.M., the activists known as the "Justice 8" were escorted into the courtroom, chains clinking as they made their way to their seats—the men seated in the front and the women in the back. 

Although it has become harder for advocates of the Justice 8 to be present at every hearing, the courtroom was still filled with friends, family, and community supporters. 

One of the most significant decisions from Wednesday’s hearing was by San Bernardino County Judge John Wilkerson, who denied the defense's motion to access law enforcement personnel.

The motion had been presented by Edin Alex Enamorado’s attorney, Nicholas Rosenberg, who requested the records of three officers involved in the case: Detective Travis Johnson from Pomona P.D., and lead detective Alejandro Duran and Blake Foyil from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

The motion was filed with a declaration from activist Sennett Devermont, best known online as Mr. Check Point. His declaration alleges that detectives Alejandro Duran and Travis Johnson used informants to gather information that would eventually lead to the arrest of the defendants. 

Both detectives swore that no informants or people were working with law enforcement.

However, Devermont’s declaration letter points to two alleged informants in the activists' group chat. 

The supposed informants, a woman, and a male, allegedly sent photos, names, addresses, and employment histories of people the activists were protesting against without being asked by the activists to do so. 

“The judge denied the motion, which I find extraordinary because, again, the standard that I have to meet is very low,” said Rosenberg outside the courthouse. “I have to show that the evidence I’m requesting is material to a defense. And the defense in this case would be impeachment of a peace officer.”

Defense attorney Damon Alimouri also filed a discovery motion requesting all communications between Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office. Alimouri explained that the court can either grant the motion, deny it, or they could do an on-camera review of said request. 

“The investigation of this case is tainted by what I believe to be communications or contact between various parties,” said Alimouri inside the courtroom.

The motion did receive some opposition. San Bernardino Deputy District Attorney Jason Wilkinson said in court that the prosecution is not aware of any exculpatory evidence and that he believes the request was based merely on speculation.

Wilkinson said, regarding the on-camera review of the requested information, “I don’t see the time necessary to allocate those resources.”

Rosenberg expressed the importance of accessing that information, pointing to Mayor Acquanetta’s connection with the departments and her past encounters with Enamorado.

Rosenberg stated that Enamorado attended a council meeting days before his arrest, during which the Mayor allegedly said, “We have a surprise coming.”

The judge is now set to review and rule on Alimouri’s request at the next court date, April 12. There will also be a ruling on the “change of venue” request.

The activists' trial is now set for April 29th.

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