Acosta Trial Launched This Week
Well, I guess most of you know that the trial filed by Benito Acosta against Mayor Allan Mansoor and the City of Costa Mesa has finally launched this week, almost 4 years since the incident which resulted in Acosta being dragged from the City Council chambers and tossed in jail. You can read an account of recent events from the Daily Pilot HERE.
PAST CHIEFS TESTIFY
According to news reports, two former police chiefs, Dave Snowden and Jon Hensley, have testified in this case so far.
THE VIDEO IS CLEAR TO ME
I've watched the city feed of this event plus the video available on YouTube, below, several times. I watched the entire meeting that evening several times and have a pretty clear idea of what happened. Of course, others may view those events differently.
GILCHRIST GIVEN PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT
I saw Minuteman Jim Gilchrist stand before the council and, with the permission of Mansoor, use more than his alloted 3 minutes AND have his five dozen or so followers in the audience that night stand in a show of support for his views.
MANSOOR CUT HIM OFF EARLY
Thirty minutes later I saw Acosta take the speakers podium and speak in slow, measured tones and, about two minutes, twenty seconds into his time, ask those who agreed with him to stand to show their support - just as Gilchrist had done previously. At that point Mansoor tried to stop him, told him his time was over (even though there clearly was 30 seconds left) and subsequently called a recess. Watch the video and form your own opinion.
ACOSTA DID NOT MISBEHAVE THAT NIGHT
I know that tensions were high in the council chambers that night. At the previous meeting Acosta had behaved very badly, including cursing at Mansoor. That behavior was unacceptable, but it was nearly a month earlier. Until Acosta was dragged from the council chambers his behavior was not out of line, as you can clearly see in the video.
COULD BE COSTLY
It's going to be very interesting to see how this trial plays out. If the jury finds for Acosta it could cost our city a lot of money at a time when we cannot afford it. If it finds for the city and Mansoor it would de facto approve Mansoor's inequitable treatment of Acosta that evening.
In my perfect world the jury will hold for Acosta but award him a small amount of money. I understand from friends in the know that if that were the case the city would still be liable for his legal fees and court costs.
JUDGE CARTER TOUGH BUT FAIR
It's my understanding that the judge in this case, David O. Carter, is a tough, but fair, man who will be sure the law is followed. We can ask no more than that. Let's watch and see how this goes...
BENITO ACOSTA, JANUARY 3, 2006