DAVIS (CBS13) – The Picnic Day brawl that sparked controversy after dash cam video was released came to a near end in court Wednesday.
Four of five defendants involved in a fight with police took plea deals.
The video surfaced shortly after the incident in April, but so, too, did questions involving five suspects and two plain clothed officers as to what really happened.
The video shows a van pull up and a fight breaking out. Police said they were handling crowd control, but the suspects said it wasn’t made clear the men were officers.
The five defendants who range between 19 and 22 were charged with felony assault and resisting arrest.
“Those are serious felonies in California. They’re strikes,” said Mark Reichel who believes his client was just protecting a friend and the van was unmarked.
He said ending the case now in court makes it a win for his client and others involved.
“The resolution today I think acknowledges that there were mistakes made all the way around, on all sides and I think it vindicates everybody,” Reichel said.
Four defendants pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery charges. They avoid going to trial and agreed to complete a restorative justice program. They will meet with the two officers to discuss what happened and focus on rehabilitation through reconciliation.
“It’s an attempt to remove things from this advocacy and adversarial situation, and it puts each party in the eyes and the minds of the other person,” he said.
The judge ordered the charges to be dropped if the defendants can stay out of trouble for one year and follow probation.
The fifth defendant was reassigned an attorney and will appear before a judge next week to accept the same plea deal.
Meanwhile, the Davis Police Department has an ongoing internal investigation into police conduct that should be complete within the next few weeks.