No Charges in Cliff's Xmas Assault Over Israeli Product
About six-weeks back, pro-Palestinian activists went into Cliff's Variety Store in the Castro on Christmas Eve to sing songs about boycotting Israeli-made products. The protesters had been lobbying Cliff's for months to stop selling the SodaStream maker, but the independently owned business continued to sell it, leading to the demonstration.
Most of the activists were older women, lesbian and straight, and after a few minutes of singing were physically accosted by store employees attempting to get them out of the store.
The altercations led to assault allegations by the protesters, who filed complaints with the SF Police Department, a few days after the action.
Last week, I was in touch with two of the protesters and they informed me that the District Attorney has not filed assault charges against any of the store employees who were caught on camera angrily grabbing and shoving the protesters.
At this point, the pro-Palestinians activists do not expect the DA to file charges. The lack of charges appears to bring this matter to a close. Make of it what you will.
The demonstrators should seriously consider a private lawsuit for tort against the employees themselves personally and against Cliff's under agent liability (the famous respondeat superior). The employees were acting under the scope of their employment and to the benefit of Cliff's.
Battery, that is the unreasonable and unwanted touching by one person against another, and assault, being placed in fear of unreasonable and unwanted touching, are not only crimes, but also causes of action in a lawsuit.
Cliff's might find settling with the demonstrators vastly cheaper than defending the lawsuit and the settlement could include the exclusion of the Israeli-manufactured goods, the very goal of the demonstrators.
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