Governor Gavin Newsom through Executive Order N-33-20 made the determination that all Californians had to stay-at-home amid the pandemic. Effective as of March 19, the state was essentially shut-down. Now, weeks later, with businesses shut down, massive job losses, and increasing unrest, some people are ignoring the order and hitting the streets.
Naomi Soria, 27, is one of these Californians who openly opposes the stay-at-home order so much so she organized a protest in downtown San Diego. Soria, along with hundreds of other protestors, congregated on Saturday afternoon in front of the Hall of Justice demonstrating during a “Freedom Rally.” Now Soria is facing a legal battle as she is being threatened with potential misdemeanor charges for organizing and ignoring the governor’s order. With the misdemeanor charges, she is possibly facing 90 days in jail as well as a pricey $1,000 fine.
According to the SDPD, Soria is the only one of the hundreds of protestors that demonstrated to have a case submitted to the city attorney’s office. A spokesperson for the SDPD explained that because she was the organizer of the rally, she was in violation of the stay-at-home order. Soria remains defiant as she continues to exercise her constitutional rights arguing that she is protected by “all the amendments.”
The Center for American Liberty (CAL), a nonprofit organization is providing legal representation to Naomi Soria. This organization is also active in its efforts to oppose the public health order. CAL filed a lawsuit against Gov. Newsom because the order prohibited in-person church services.
Soria plans to continue to hold protests despite the threat of charges. The SDPD said they are aware of the future gatherings and have indicated that if they do take place, they may recommend additional charges be brought against her.
Are There Individuals Who Oppose These Freedom Demonstrations?
There are individuals and groups that oppose Soria’s efforts. The belief is that there should have been citations given to the protestors who ignored the orders of not gathering in large groups and not staying six feet apart.
Some religious leaders also questioned the authorities’ response to the gathering. They wanted to know why protestors were allowed to gather without penalty while churches will be penalized if they have in-person church services. The SDPD has responded by saying that although the events were not prevented from happening, there would still be legal repercussions, specifically for the organizers of the demonstrations.
Get the Help You Need From a San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer
Soria’s legal team is aggressively defending her right to participate in constitutionally protected activities such as the right to assemble and the right to petition the government. Soria’s actions have put her in violation of Code 8665 because she willingly neglects to obey the public health order. Continue reading