March 19, 2023
To: Family, Friends and Supporters of Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas
Fr: CD10 Voices for Empowerment
Re: United States of America v. Mark Ridley-Thomas
Thank you for your continuing support. The Prosecution closed its case on Friday. It failed to call any County witnesses, signaling the fundamental weakness of the government’s case. This Tuesday, March 21, the Defense will have its turn. They have budgeted two weeks to present their rebuttal. While the trial is on schedule and still is expected to conclude on or around the week of April 9, 2023, the Defense may rest its case sooner. .
For those who are interested in observing the trial and would like to attend, below are the details you should know:
Details you should know about the trial:
• When: Trial began Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at 9:00 a.m.
• The first day was taken up by jury selection. The trial began on Wednesday, March 8, 2023.
• The trial started with opening statements, then the government’s case, followed by the defense’s case and will conclude with final arguments by both sides.
• Trial days are generally Tuesday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (subject to the judge’s discretion), with three twenty minute breaks at approximately 9:15, 11:00 and 1:00 with no formal lunch break.
• Location: Courtroom 7D of the First Street United States Courthouse – Central District of California, 350 W. 1st Street, Los Angeles, California 90012
• Judge: Honorable Dale S. Fischer
If you would like to attend, please be sure to do the following:
• Arrive at least 30-minutes early. There can be long lines to get through security. Please plan accordingly. Please prepare to remove your shoes, belt, jacket, hat, content of pockets, and place any electronic devices in the bins that will be provided.
• Bring a mask. You may be required to wear it.
• Please note, you WILL NOT be allowed to use any electronic devices while observing the trial. Cell phones and other electronic devices must be turned completely off.
• Supporters should feel free to sit together in a group.
• PLEASE DO NOT TALK TO THE JURORS AT ALL.
• Be conscientious of talking in the halls, elevators and bathrooms in case jurors, witnesses or government prosecutors and FBI staff are present.
• Please do not make any facial expressions, nod or shake your head, comment, or otherwise exhibit in any way any agreement, disagreement, or other opinion or belief concerning the testimony of a witness.
• Those with mobility challenges should try to be dropped off in front of the 1st Street courthouse entrance by temporarily parking in the bike lane.
Logistics for traveling to the USA v. Mark Ridley-Thomas trial
The USA v. Mark Ridley-Thomas trial is being held at the United States Courthouse at 350 W First St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 which is between Hill Street and Broadway. The courtroom is 7D on the seventh floor. The judge holds court from 7:45 AM to 2:30 PM, Tuesday through Friday. She does not break for lunch, but instead has three 20-minute breaks around 9:30 AM, 11:15 AM and 1 PM. You must enter the courthouse and go through security from the First Street entrance. The building opens at 7:00 AM. FYI, the security line starts to back up around 7:15 AM except for Friday when most other courtrooms are not in session.
Parking is available at various public lots near the courthouse. The best parking location to attend the trial is a lot in the block just east of the courthouse. The Los Angeles Times parking garage has an $8 all day flat fee. The entrance is on Broadway between 1st and 2nd Streets. Enter the lot off Broadway Ave, closer to Second Street. You must first park, then pay at a kiosk with a credit card and then put the receipt on your dashboard. The kiosk will require you to enter your license plate number.
There are several parking lots that are just east of the courthouse that take cash as payment. The costs range from $12 to $18 for the day. You can enter those lots from First Street, Hill Street, or Olive Street.
Directions for getting to the United States Courthouse by LA Metro.
The United States Courthouse is directly across the street from the LA Metro Civic Center/ Grand Park Station which services the B and D lines (also known as the Red and Purple lines). The station is at the corner of Hill Street and First Street just west of Hill Street and the Court is at that same corner just east of Hill Street.
If you are coming from the Crenshaw area, you will have to take the E line (also known as the Expo line) towards downtown LA and transfer to the B or D line at the 7th Street/Metro Center station which will be the last stop on the E Line. Coming from southeastern LA from neighborhoods such as Watts and Willowbrook, you can take the Metro A Line (also known as the Blue Line) to 7th Street/Metro Center.
In the morning, the trains mentioned here run every ten minutes. So, as a couple of cases in point, going from the E line Crenshaw station or the A line Willowbrook/Rosa Parks to the Civic Center Grand Park Station will take around 33 to 34 minutes per the transfer at 7th Street/Metro Center.
Specifically, to get to the courthouse by 7 AM when it opens, you will want to get to the E line Crenshaw station by 6:24 AM and the A Line Willowbrook/ Rosa Parks station by 6:23 AM. That will get you to the Civic Center/Grand Park Station at around 6:57 AM. Since the trains run every 10 minutes, you can just add 10 minutes to the departure times and arrival time based on your desired time to arrive at the courthouse. For example, to get to the courthouse by 7:15 coming from Leimert Park, you need to get to the E line Crenshaw Station by 6:34 AM since that will get you to the Civic Center/ Grand Park Station at around 7:07 AM.
You will, of course, reverse your trains and connections heading back home.
Metro Station Parking
West Angeles Church provides free parking for metro park and ride at the E line Crenshaw Station. The garage is about one block north of the station on Crenshaw Blvd on the east side of the street. There is also free street parking near the station on Victoria Ave, just south of the station. Willowbrook/ Rosa Park station on the A line also provides free parking. There are two lots there. Since your car will be parked for a long period of time whether in a lot or on the street, as always, make sure you lock it and that no valuables are visible. Also, note the street cleaning parking restrictions when parking on the street near the stations.
For those that desire to carpool, we have setup a couple of parking lots where you can meet. One location is Southern Missionary Baptist Church at 4678 W. Adams Blvd, LA 90016 which is on the south side of the street. Enter the parking lot off of Adams Blvd. The other location is The Second Baptist Church at 2412 Griffith Ave, LA 90011.
While it is difficult to predict the duration of the trial, it is anticipated that it could last as long as five weeks. An effort is underway to organize the presence of supporters/observers for each trial day of the week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday) and morning (7:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.) and afternoon (11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) shifts, so that friends and supporters can be present in the courtroom at all times. This organizing effort is still attempting to arrange free parking at a remote sites and transportation (van or carpool) to and from the courthouse from there, depending on demand. Please be patient with this volunteer organizing effort.
If you are interested in attending and to assist us in our organizing, please complete the information in this link.
Thank you again for your support.
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