Protests

Man May Go to Prison for 13 Years for Chalking Anti-Bank of America Graffiti on Sidewalk

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CvilleWall
Credit: Ronald Bailey

Reuters is reporting the outrageous case of Jeff Olson who is being prosecuted for chalking anti-Bank of America graffiti on the public sidewalks in front three branches of the mega-bank in San Diego. From Reuters:

Jeff Olson, the 40-year-old man who is being prosecuted for scrawling anti-megabank messages on sidewalks in water-soluble chalk last year now faces a 13-year jail sentence. A judge has barred his attorney from mentioning freedom of speech during trial.

According to the San Diego Reader, which reported on Tuesday that a judge had opted to prevent Olson's attorney from "mentioning the First Amendment, free speech, free expression, public forum, expressive conduct, or political speech during the trial," Olson must now stand trial for on 13 counts of vandalism.

In addition to possibly spending years in jail, Olson will also be held liable for fines of up to $13,000 over the anti-big-bank slogans that were left using washable children's chalk on a sidewalk outside of three San Diego, California branches of Bank of America, the massive conglomerate that received $45 billion in interest-free loans from the US government in 2008-2009 in a bid to keep it solvent after bad bets went south.

The Reader reports that Olson's hearing had gone as poorly as his attorney might have expected, with Judge Howard Shore, who is presiding over the case, granting Deputy City Attorney Paige Hazard's motion to prohibit attorney Tom Tosdal from mentioning the United States' fundamental First Amendment rights.

Apparently, Olson's protests against the bank pissed off a local cop who managed to get the city prosecutor's office to gin up "vandalism" charges against him. Read the whole story here.

If after reading the whole story you'd like to express your opinions to the San Diego prosecutors' office, consider using this handy email: cityattorney@sandiego.gov.

Disclosure: The illustration is from the Freedom of Speech Wall in Charlottesville where I spend most of my time. My wife is a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch which is owned by Bank of America.

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  1. Barred from mentioning freedom of speech? You just blew my mind

    1. Pretty sure John’s comment on this is correct:
      The (supposed) reason for prosecution is vandalism, not the content of the speech; that’s )supposedly) not addressed here.

      1. S: What about all the hopscotchers? Off to jail with them! It’s not vandalism, it’s speech.

        1. It seems like a law that’s only conveniently enforced. By their logic, every piece of chewing gum on the sidewalk would buy a year for vandalism. I can see a civil suit in this where the bank sues to cover the cost of cleaning up the chalk but 13 years?

          1. I can see a civil suit in this where the bank sues to cover the cost of cleaning up the chalk

            Yep, this.

            1. It’s a public sidewalk though.

          2. Dude with a hose: total cost 1 hour * minimum wage. Or just wait for it to rain: total cost $0.

            1. It’s southern California – it won’t rain until December 😉

              1. How effective is vagrant urine for removing chalk?

        2. Ron Bailey| 6.27.13 @ 12:03PM |#
          “S: What about all the hopscotchers? Off to jail with them! It’s not vandalism, it’s speech.”

          Ron,
          And you could add those utility guys marking the place up with indelible spray!
          I’m in complete agreement; that’s the reason for the scare quotes.

        3. Ron, I’m sure hopscotchers actually do technically fall under antivandalism statues as written.

          It’s on purpose. They WANT everyone to be violating some law all the time, so when they want you out of the way, they have something to railroad you with.

      2. Would artists who do sidewalk drawings be prosecuted for vandalism? I suspect some people would argue ‘no’ because it’s asthetically pleasing. But in the end if the prosecution’s argument is valid then it should be considered as such. You can’t have two standards of law for the same crime.

        Oh, wait, that’s exactly the way it is, one standard for those that have money and power and another for the rest of us.

      3. Come on, Reason Readers! Send emails now! Here’s mine, to be sent shortly?
        Hi cityattorney@sandiego.gov ,
        See https://reason.com/blog/2013/06…..ch#comment , I see you want to send Jeff Olson to the slammer for 13 years for expressing his opinion in children’s chalk that the weather or the urine of passing vagrants is going to wash away in a few weeks anyway, for zero costs to the taxpayer. How much is his 13-year sentence going to cost? ? Anyway, I just wanted to congratulate you as having now surpassed North Korea as a utopian haven for the Worship of Government Almighty, which is the avowed belief of us millions of adherents to the Church of Scienfoology. To learn more, see http://www.churchofsqrls.com/ ?

        Thank You, You Most Faithful Government Almighty Servants! -SQRLSY One

    2. Maybe he can plea bargain it down to a day if he gives up his chalk supplier.

    3. Judges in American courts routinely prevent defendants from bringing up facts or laws that might support their case – which of course makes even jury nullification unlikely because jurors are legally barred from hearing the defendant defend themself. This has been going on for decades at least, so why is anyone surprised?

  2. Jury nullification, please.

    1. yes, please.

  3. Whoa!
    In SF, if they tried tossing all the taggers in the clink, they’d soon find there isn’t a jail in the world big enough to hold ’em.

    1. So they’d just build more jails. MOAR JOBZ!

    2. If the jails aren’t big enough, they’ll just build a fence around the nation and treat us all like convicted criminals.

      1. I believe that’s almost the case right now anyway.

    3. I always thought SF *was* a prison… Lots of gay sex, drugs, and too many regulations.

  4. Of course the jurors will sit, mouths agape, through the trial and vote guilty instead of giving the prosecution a richly deserved slapdown for wasting their time and money.

    1. I wonder if Jesus would weep for that?

  5. OT: Star witness in Zimmerman trial can’t read the letter that she “wrote” to Trayvon Martin’s mom:
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/georg…..cxerBZpl8s
    In fact, she can’t read cursive at all, which is how the letter was written. Whoops!

    1. “Jeantel, 19, was unable to read any of the letter save for her name”

      what a disaster. and I don’t mean the trial.

      1. “A 19 year old high school senior”.

        1. If only we had more money for education!

          1. It’s still somehow Bush’s fault.

    2. How’d looking into Corpus go?

      1. I poked around on Zillow for awhile, but it is hard to figure out the neighborhoods there…. I think I am going to try and make a vacation out of visiting TX and FL once it cools down. I haven’t really seen TX at all (aside from business trips to Ft. Worth).

        1. make a vacation out of visiting TX and FL once it cools down

          If you’re considering moving, I recommend getting the full effect of August. It sucks donkey balls in most of both states. OTOH, literally everywhere indoors is air conditioned.

          1. this is the case in all of america, isn’t it?

            Can you qualify for First World nation status otherwise?

    3. ROFLMAO. Looks like this sham trial just went from a disgusting waste of time and money to a completely farcical clown show.

    4. I dont have a problem with cursive no longer being taught.

      1. Bunt. B-U-N-T, in perfect cursive. Any more brain busters?

      2. It’s just so easy to learn to read, though.

        1. Q==2

          Its not that easy to read.

          Okay, yeah, it is.

    5. In fact, she can’t read cursive at all, which is how the letter was written.

      Ladies and gentlemen: I give you the finest specimen of a product of the public school system, a 19 year old HS Senior, who can’t read cursive handwriting. Can I get a round of applause? Bravo, public schools… Bra-fucking-vo.

      1. Junior. She’s a junior.

        1. Yeah. I think I learned cursive in my senior year. Or maybe in grad school.

          1. Oh, wait. I didn’t go to grad school. That explains a lot.

      2. Cursive is bullshit. But if she wrote it, I would expect her to read it.

        1. Cursive is the new cuneiform

      3. If they flunked her, people would be up in arms.

    6. So she dictated a letter. Not all that discrediting.

      1. Except that she said she wrote the letter herself. In fact, that is the 2nd time she has perjured herself. The defense has established that she is a biased witness against the defendent who is willing to lie. So at the very least, she has done her friend Trayvon a vast disservice by not being completely honest.

        1. I missed that part. They must have established that before the clip started.

      2. For no reason, this reminds me of a Letterman list of top ten worst jobs: #2 Crack whore. #1 Assistant crack whore.

        1. “Take a letter, bitch!”

        2. You said “crack whore” too many times; I thought you were Norm MacDonald for a minute.

          1. Hey, hey. Norm MacDonald? I thought we were all friends here.

  6. It’s frickin’ vandalism. What is “ginned up”?

    1. NEM: Off to jail with the little hopscotchers then!

      1. Because this went straight to threats of jail, right?

    2. And the appropriate punishment should be a bucket of soapy water and a scrub brush. The good news is that it should clean up quickly.

      But 13 years in prison == “ginned up”.

      1. Are you saying he wasn’t offered lesser punishment already but refused it?

        1. So 13 years in jail for not submitting to extortion.

          1. How much are you willing to bet that he gets 13 years because I’m willing to bet a lot he won’t.

            1. How many years in jail should he serve for chalk and rejecting extortion?

            2. I’m betting he’s already wasted more time than a free citizen should listening to the crap they’re handing out, not to mention the amount of money he’s had to pay to protect himself.

              1. A “free citizen?” Free to vandalize the property of others?

                1. Night Elf Mohawk| 6.27.13 @ 12:56PM |#
                  “A “free citizen?” Free to vandalize the property of others?”

                  Hint, hint, nudge, nudge.
                  Nice try there.

                2. Except from all accounts the sidewalks are public. How exactly did he violate BoA’s property again?

                  1. Property of others. That is, not his.

    3. Apparently, your definition of what constitutes vandalism.

      1. Are you implying that this isn’t vandalism?

        1. FFS Mohawk it’s fucking chalk.

          1. Why is that relevant?

            1. Because it washes off with water. If BoA doesn’t like it on their building, they can remove it in less than a minute.

              1. Doubtful, but that still puts the burden on the property owner. It’s amazing how fast property rights go out the window when the owner is unsympathetic.

                1. Doubtful.
                  Derp. This is why more libertarians should have kids.

                  1. My daughters used sidewalk chalk all the time. It’s pretty easy to get rid of the writing or drawing but not so easy to get rid of all traces of the chalk. And since when do libertarians support people being able to do what they want with others’ property?

                    1. And since when do libertarians support people being able to do what they want with others’ property?

                      Since when do libertarians not support equal treatment under the law and punishment fitting the crime? From the original article, this sounds like contempt of cop to me. BofA is just along for the ride because they seem to thrive on bad publicity.

                2. Yes, quite the burden, that. Sending your janitor out to spray the side of your building with a hose certainly justifies sending a dude to rapecamp for a decade.

                  1. A baker’s decade.

                  2. Because that’s what will happen and because he couldn’t have accepted lesser punishment already.

                    1. Night Elf Mohawk| 6.27.13 @ 12:32PM |#
                      “Because that’s what will happen and because he couldn’t have accepted lesser punishment already.”

                      OK, not only is NEM in favor of the death penalty, s/he thinks it ought to be used in ‘way more cases than it is!
                      Deny your plea bargain? Off with your head!

                    2. If you read more carefully, you’d have understood that I am in favor of the death penalty as a concept but don’t think it can be carried out fairly so I’m against it in practice.

                      And this case is exactly like forcing someone to take life in prison by holding the death penalty over his head.

                  3. Chalking someone else’s property is behavior that should be sanctioned, but not with jail time. Put a sponge in the guy’s hand for a few hours or something.

                  4. Where’s the burden at all when someone merely trespasses on your property? Do you believe that trespass should be actionable?

                    It’s not about the burden, it’s about the rights you have as a property owner.

                3. It should be a civil suit or at most a low-level misdemeanor. No one was endangered. Now this is in opposition to the little rat-fuckers down my street who shoot out my windows regularly. I’m out real money and shooting out building windows is inherently dangerous as opposed to some chalk.

                  I’d love to have vandals who use chalk.

                4. “chalking anti-Bank of America graffiti on the public sidewalks in front”

                  It’s not even their property

                  1. It’s not even their property

                    Probably might as well be, since they have the city in their pocket.

                5. Was this on the building or on the sidewalk in front of the building?

                6. hat still puts the burden on the property owner. It’s amazing how fast property rights go out the window when the owner is unsympathetic.

                  Public sidewalks.

                  1. Adjacent property owners often have responsibility for “public sidewalks.” The town never shoveled our “public sidewalks,” that was our job.

                    1. Just cause they will make you do that doesn’t mean the city doesn’t own the land. Most sidewalks are within the street right-of-way, even when the adjacent property owner is made to build them.

        2. Anything that can be removed with an afternoon rain isn’t vandalism.

          1. And if there is no rain and you have to spend money to remove it? That seems like a fairly silly distinction.

            1. Playing the role of Tulpa today…

              1. Playing the role of someone who doesn’t think random people can write whatever they want on my property simply because the rain might wash it away someday.

                1. “chalking anti-Bank of America graffiti on the public sidewalks in front”

                  Public sidewalks don’t belong to BoA or NEM

                2. If it had been on their building, I still think its a tort, not necessarily criminal.

                3. The point is not that it’s acceptable to chalk people’s property, but that, for it to be justice, the punishment must be proportionate to the crime.

                  Whether he was offered a lesser punishment or not is irrelevant. It shouldn’t be able to scale up this high.

                  If he was offered something less and turned it down, then the maximum amount of jail time should be confined to however long it takes to scrub the offending vandalism off the wall, or something along those lines.

                  1. for it to be justice, the punishment must be proportionate to the crime.

                    Exactly this. But I didn’t think that, around here, anyone would actually have to speak slowly and spell it out. Apparently I was wrong.

                    1. Just don’t write it in cursive!

                    2. What rob, Jim and CN said.

                  2. The point is not that it’s acceptable to chalk people’s property, but that, for it to be justice, the punishment must be proportionate to the crime.

                    Except that some of these “libertarians” seem to be arguing that it is acceptable, since it’s easy to correct.

                    Even if the punishment were a maximum of a month, if you have 13 counts it adds up.

                    1. “libertarians”

                      Putting libertarians in quotes seems definitely like a Tulpa move.

                    2. Libertarianism is… disproportionate punishments for chalk-related crime.

                    3. Again, slowly, let’s see what punishment he ends up with, shall we? If he really gets 13 years, it would be disproportionate.

                      Let’s also not pretend that the defendant hasn’t rejected lesser punishments in favor of making his point. 99.999% of the people, even the hopscotchers, would’ve been out of this issue and on with their lives already.

                    4. I suspect there may be a “self-righteous jerk” factor working against Olson as well.

                    5. Libertarianism is… disproportionate punishments for chalk-related crime.

                      Olson’s lucky we don’t storm the courthouse and lynch him.

                    6. People who throw property rights to the side because they don’t like the prosecutor or victim deserve the quotes.

                      This isn’t a case of willing participants. I thought libertarians were in favor of property rights. Now, those who argue that this should be a civil issue are being consistent. Those who are arguing that the vandalism is no big deal because it is chalk, or easy to remove, or cheap to remove, aren’t.

                    7. You chalk my property — I’ll kill ya.

                      Lighten up, NEM.

                    8. You keeping saying “property rights”. There is no property rights issue at stake here, it was not private property.

                      And governments dont have rights.

                    9. “Libertarians” fighting about “property rights.” This is why “no one” takes “libertarians” “seriously.”

                4. Can we agree to have a peace officer (wow, a little vomit right there, yech) monitor this guy using a bucket of water and a sponge for an hour instead of sending him to jail for 13 years? Because I think we all would.

                  But if you tell me the choices are 13 years in prison or nothing and those are the only choices, then yes, the guy should receive no punishment because that would be closer to actual justice than a 13 year prison sentence.

                  1. It’s not a “13 year or nothing deal,” far from it. And the prosecutor isn’t even asking for 13 years.

                    The statute in San Diego makes graffiti a misdemeanor ranging from a small fine to a year in jail. The law doesn’t make a distinction between “chalk” and more damaging actions, which is why judicial discretion exists.

                    There were 13 incidents here and the law requires that each be brought to the court as a separate complaint, hence the OMFG maximum of 13 years, which of course won’t happen.

                5. I saw police in Charlotte confiscating a projector because some Occupiers had used it to temporarily project a message on the wall of a Bank of America building. Where does that fit in to things?

                  1. Your photons are violating my property rights.

                    (Hey, it works for blocking sunlight, so why not?)

  7. If it’s vandalism, fine him ten dollars and make him scrub the sidewalk.

    Jesus fuck.

    1. I think rain takes care of the chalk just fine, so no need for the scrub.

      1. In San Diego, I think they might want to hurry it up a bit.

    2. $1.00. I assume it was removed by the elements.

      1. 13 incidents, so $13 total.

        1. I’ll pay.

    3. I would think that vandalism would require some sort of damage to the property – water-soluble chalk is hardly damage. Or do they bust people for spilling their drinks on the sidewalk, too?

      But not being able to mention free speech can’t possibly stand an appeal – you can challenge not just the facts but the law. It isn’t simply a question of whether or not he committed the act, it’s whether or not the act can properly be unlawful. Like the kid busted for disrupting class by wearing the NRA shirt – even if there is no question he disrupted class, he has a free speech right to wear the shirt.

      1. The statute starts with “Every person who maliciously commits…” so, no, spilling a drink isn’t going to get you busted.

        It also includes “Defaces with graffiti or other inscribed material” so it doesn’t require damage, though damage and destruction are also proscribed.

  8. FTA:

    According to Olson, who spoke with local broadcaster KGTV, one Bank of America branch claimed it had cost $6,000 to clean up the chalk writing.

    They must have used city workers for that grueling job.

    1. I can’t tell from TFA — did he write on a sidewalk that BOA owns or on the city sidewalk?

      1. Since they didn’t charge him with trespassing, it looks like city property.

    2. That’s classic insurance fraud right there. I guarantee they claimed it under their property insurance policy.

    1. Or here. Much less of a police state.

      1. Who knows, he might even run into Banksy and pick up some tips.

  9. A judge has barred his attorney from mentioning freedom of speech during trial.

    Prohibiting the invocation of your inalienable human rights that are specifically enshrined in the highest law in the land? Seems legit.

    1. didn’t you know? A judge is god in his courtroom.

    2. He’s not being prosecuted for his speech, so his speech isn’t relevant.

      1. Tulpa, the real NEM is gonna be pissed when he finds out you’re posting under his name.

        1. I’ve got a great test, Hugh:
          Hey, NEM. Did you hear that the Ohio legislature is about to pass a bill outlawing red light cameras? (True story, btw.)

            1. The legislator quoted in the second graf, btw, is the former editor and associate publisher of the newspaper in which he is being quoted. NTTAWWT

              1. Guess which side of the debate he comes down on. (Hint: Tulpa would love the guy.)

                1. But how does he feel about food trucks, parked sideways across the street?

        2. Tell me how his speech is relevant. Are you arguing that the First Amendment is a defense to chargers of vandalism, because it kinda sounds that way.

          1. It doesn’t matter if speech is relevant, you can’t just go around telling people how they can mount their defense.

          2. If it’s a public sidewalk, it’s a public forum. GG no re. Care for another beating?

      2. Bullshit. If he had written, “Bank here, BOA is awesome!!!” there wouldnt have been charges files.

        1. Depends if it was written in cursive. Our future bankers won’t be able to read it.

        2. And that’s perfectly appropriate, since the injury is (to a point) determined by the property owner. If someone painted the next Mona Lisa on your garage door you might be impressed enough to keep it. Or you might want it gone and the artist punished. It’s your choice.

          1. There is no property owner, it was public property.

            1. That’s a good point, too. Damn this thing is pointy.

            2. Then the city gets to decide since they’re the agent for public property.

      3. So a kid playing hopscotch in the front of the bank would be treated the same? Or if he wrote “I love BoFA” instead of whatever he did write, he’d be prosecuted the exact same way?

        If the content of his speech had any bearing on the fact that he was charged at all doesn’t that make it an issue?

  10. According to the San Diego Reader, which reported on Tuesday that a judge had opted to prevent Olson’s attorney from “mentioning the First Amendment, free speech, free expression, public forum, expressive conduct, or political speech during the trial,” Olson must now stand trial for on 13 counts of vandalism.

    If after reading the whole story you’d like to express your opinions to the San Diego prosecutors’ office, consider using this handy email: cityattorney@sandiego.gov.

    I think I’d rather express my opinion to the judge who won’t allow the defense attorney to even mention that the 1st ammendment exists. But it probably wouldn’t do any good. I doubt I could express myself monosyllablically enough for the fascist piece of shit to understand me.

  11. I’m guessing if there’s prison at stake, it’s DA Bonnie Dumanis, not the city attorney you need to talk to.

    Dumanis is a soft-on-corruption, good-ol-boy network DA:

    http://encinitasundercover.blo…..-good.html

    1. Dumanis is a soft-on-corruption, good-ol-boy network DA:

      How else was a woman supposed to succeed in a typical manocentric manocracy?!

  12. But what I really want to know is why Ron spends all of his time at the Freedom of Speech Wall. I mean, it’s nice and all. But he must really like that wall.

    1. Our CVille Freedom of Speech wall is just that nice. It also has a lot of bars and restaurants around it as well as a music pavillion! 😛

  13. The hysterics over another “vandalism” case, starring the shitbag no misses, The Derider.

  14. Looks like there’s gonna be fuckin’ chalk all over Libertopia.

    1. And since there’ll be no roads, it’ll get all over the fuckin’ rocks and dirt and shit. Man, what a mess.

      1. “KEEP YOUR CHALK (composed of rocks and dirt) OFF MY ROCKS AND DIRT!!!”

    2. Nah, no public property.

  15. A judge has barred his attorney from mentioning freedom of speech during trial.

    I’m no legal expert, but I’m guessing this won’t survive appeal.

    1. When it doesn’t, the judge should be removed.

  16. Shit, I just realized I’m married to a master criminal. My wife and sister-in-law always write on the sidewalks in chalk directions to our end-of-the-semester party for those that have to park down the street.

    I better get her out of the country.

    1. They will receive the sentence the law requires.

      /Judge Dredd Mohawk

  17. Apparently, Olson’s protests against the bank pissed off a local cop who managed to get the city prosecutor’s office to gin up “vandalism” charges against him. Read the whole story here.

    Oh, and if this Olson guy considers himself part of the Occupy movement, I’d bet all the way up to 50 cent that he still focuses his ire on Kochporashuns, and sees no problem with runaway big government.

    1. he still focuses his ire on Kochporashuns, and sees no problem with runaway big government

      And so? I don’t have to like him to want him to receive fair and just treatment under the law. If SD can send him to jail for this, then they can send all of us to jail for just about anything.

      1. Hey man, back off.

        I’m still giggling over the interns suing Gawker for using them as interns. Don’t spoil my fun.

      2. I’m in no way suggesting or hoping or wanting him to receive unfair treatment. To answer your “And so?” question, I’m merely venting my frustration with people who are flattened into a pancake by the zillion-pound hammer of government, and never make the connection.

        It keeps happening again and again. I keep praying that the 22 or so of us pulling on the smaller government rope will finally get a little help, but it never seems to come.

        Please don’t mistake my frustration with the anti-corporate movement as feeling they’re deserving of being thrown in a hole for 13 years because they chalked a piece of concrete.

        1. Point taken. I just think the better thing is for them to see us lending a hand to them when this happens. Builds a little more trust.

          1. They all have my hand! They all have me shouting, “First amendment, and when that fails, Second amendment!”

            Even while they bitch about Citizens United and demand more gun control.

            BTW: This frustration I’m feeling is right on the heels of Canada passing a law where protesters wearing masks during an ‘unlawful assembly’ can get 10 years in prison.

            When asked about the law, one of the protesters essentially shouted, “But… KOCHPORASHUNS!”

            Makes one want to strangle kittens.

  18. This case may very well be outrageous, but there are some facts missing.

    Olson is saying this was a protest but it was more than that. His “protests” not only consisted of him writing on the sidewalk, but passing out leaflets for people to switch to California Coast credit union, who was paying him $25 per referral who opened up an account.

    If someone came to your place of business over a dozen times, scrawling graffiti on your property in a ongoing marketing scheme under the guise of a political protest, at some point you’re going to call the cops to stop him from decorating your business every morning.

    Of course 13 years is crazy, but there’s no specific “only for chalk” part of the San Diego graffiti ordinance, which says “up to a year” for offenses, and they charged him with the 13 times they had him on video. Hopefully, reason will prevail among a judge and jury to be appropriate.

    There should be a more nuanced way to deal with someone like him, but he not the victim yet.

    1. Olson is saying this was a protest but it was more than that. His “protests” not only consisted of him writing on the sidewalk, but passing out leaflets for people to switch to California Coast credit union, who was paying him $25 per referral who opened up an account.

      So.
      Fucking.
      What?

      It’s called competition. BoA is free to hire a sidewalk sign spinner to go stand outside the credit union, to advertise their shitty products and encourage customers to switch.

      1. So should the credit union bear some liability?

        1. Yes, but the penalty should be multiplied by 100,000, since they deal in filthy cash.

          1. So, obviously, the chief of the credit union should be sentenced to wash the sidewalk in front of the BOA 1.3 million times.

            1. That sounds about right.

    2. +1 additional infos.

    3. This was a public sidewalk and he was passing leaflets outside

    4. scrawling graffiti on your property

      False analogy, it was a public sidewalk.

      1. Is it your argument that public property — even if this were wholly public and BoA had no maintenance duties or responsibilities — can’t legitimately be protected from vandalism?

      2. Competition is great and B of A is certainly free to hire leaflet people.

        They’re not, however, free to graffiti their ads the sidewalk.

        There’s been discussion here about a sidewalk being “public,” but that doesn’t mean you can utilize it at will for your advertising. You can’t put billboards in a public park, stickers on a public bench or even chalk advertisings on public roads.

        This wasn’t a one-off deal, either, but someone who refused to stop and was being paid to continue.

        1. And if you put a billboard up in a park the city can come after you to take it down. McDonald’s on the other hand, can’t.

          1. Isn’t it the city that is prosecuting this guy, not BoA?

          2. Which is what’s happening here. This isn’t a Bank of America lawsuit, it’s the city prosecuting for a violation of their graffiti laws.

        2. You haven’t provided any evidence for your claim that he was being paid.

          I guess when I walk on the sidewalk with muddy shoes I’m guilty of vandalism, too.

  19. I had some kids chalk some nasty stuff on our driveway once. So I called the police and had those little bastards put away for a decade! Oh, not really. Five minutes with a garden hose took care of it.

    1. Did you tie the kids up before you hosed them down?

      1. Don’t be ridiculous! I made them tie themselves.

      2. It was a short length of garden hose.

  20. The bank should have sent a security guard outside to shoot that motherfucker dead.

    Fucking vandal.

  21. Night Elf Mohawk| 6.27.13 @ 1:47PM |#

    Property of others. That is, not his.

    I’m not a part-owner of public property? My chalking up a public sidewalk somehow deprives the other part-owners from making use of the property?

  22. I guess Aaron’s Law wouldn’t even apply here.

  23. Aaaaaand Reason gets it wrong again in their hating on all things cop.

    On October 3, 2011, Olson first appeared outside of a Bank of America branch in San Diego, along with a homemade sign. Eight days later Olson and his partner, Stephen Daniels, during preparations for National Bank Transfer Day, the two were confronted by Darell Freeman, the Vice President of Bank of America’s Global Corporate Security.

    A former police officer, Freeman accused Olson and Daniels of “running a business outside of the bank,” evidently in reference to the National Bank Transfer Day activities, which was a consumer activism initiative that sought to promote Americans to switch from commercial banks, like Bank of America, to not-for-profit credit unions.

    No, it wasn’t a local cop, it was a BoA manservant.

  24. This man was expressing his opinion as to the Bank of America’s criminal actions. Why hasn’t the prosecutor go after the thieves at Bank of America. No, he would rather prosecute the man protesting their actions. I believe he does have a right to claim the protection of the First Amendment to express his opinions. With that said, he should have made up picket signs instead and picketed the bank. I think that the proper punishment would be to have the gentleman do 100 hours of public service cleaning graffiti from areas around the city and have the prosecutors start criminal proceedings against the officers at the bank for their criminal actions. As for the police officer that got his panties in a wad over this, he should get a life. Try catching gang bangers or drug smugglers or something that really makes a difference to society and quit acting like a baby.

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