Saturday, June 10, 2017

New trial for Sacramento man who hit Mayor Kevin Johnson in face with pie | The Sacramento Bee

New trial for Sacramento man who hit Mayor Kevin Johnson in face with pie | The Sacramento Bee:

Think retrying the ‘pie guy’ is a waste of taxpayer money? You’re wrong and here’s why

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The guy who rammed a pie in the face of former Mayor Kevin Johnson is headed back to the courtroom and rightly so. It’s just a shame that deportation to another city can’t be a potential punishment for Sean Thompson.
OPINION
The self-described homeless advocate will be tried in August for a misdemeanor assault of Johnson after his felony trial for assault ended in a hung jury in May.
This silly and sordid episode started in September, when Thompson crashed a fundraiser Johnson was hosting at Sacramento Charter High School in Oak Park. As underprivileged kids looked on, Thompson surprised Johnson and shoved a banana cream pie in his face. Witnesses said Thompson hit Johnson hard with the pie. Johnson swung back with his fists and Thompson was arrested.
If this were any other politician, Thompson probably would be in jail right now. But because it was Johnson, and because Johnson attracted controversy – and unhinged detractors – throughout his eight years as Sacramento’s mayor, this straight assault case became a circus, with Thompson’s legal team looking to subpoena Johnson as a witness to add to the spectacle.
Thompson has said the pieing was meant to call attention to Johnson’s not doing enough to help homeless people. “Mr. Thompson is a civil disobedient,” his attorney Claire White said Thursday. “He has never claimed anything otherwise.”
On face value, retrying Thompson is absurd, a waste of time and taxpayer money. But it is necessary, if only because this guy did something so corrosive – attacking someone – and has not only been unrepentant, he’s actually enjoyed the subsequent spotlight.
Thompson has argued that what he did was political theater. But if you reduce his actions to their elements, here’s what you get: Thompson used physical violence to humiliate another human being. When is that ever OK?
Meanwhile, the judge in Thompson’s first trial pegged him correctly: “The defendant’s behavior is a huge minus,” said Sacramento Superior Court Judge Robert Twiss in May after New trial for Sacramento man who hit Mayor Kevin Johnson in face with pie | The Sacramento Bee:




Sean Thompson is wrestled to the ground after hitting Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson in the face with a pie at a benefit dinner at Sacramento Charter High School in September 2016.


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