Darryl Cherney Files to Save DNA on Bombs
Well known local environmental activist, Darryl Cherney filed a motion yesterday in Federal court to keep the FBI from destroying DNA evidence that may still exist on the bomb that exploded injuring Judi Bari and him twenty years ago. The case rocked the nation with the activists both arrested for bombing themselves.
Just recently, Cherney won a $4.4 million suit against the FBI for the arrest. Will he win this suit?
UPDATE: Press Release
Earth First! Files Motion to Stop FBI from Destroying Bomb Case Evidence and to Preserve Bomb Remnants for DNA testing 20 years later
Oakland-Just after the 20th anniversary of the May 24, 1990 car bombing and attempted frame up of Northern California Earth First! organizers Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney, attorneys Dennis Cunningham and Ben Rosenfeld filed a motion in Oakland Federal Court at 4 pm on August 4, to prevent the FBI from destroying two sets of bomb remains and to allow those remnants to be turned over to Cherney for DNA and other forensic testing to determine the identity of the bomber.
The case stems from the FBI and Oakland Police attempts to pin the bombing on the victims rather than look for the terrorist who tried to kill Judi Bari by placing a motion-triggered pipe bomb hidden under the driver’s seat of her Subaru station wagon. The explosion interrupted a musical organizing Earth First! roadshow that Bari and Cherney were on, heading to UC Santa Cruz to perform on that fateful day. Oakland police and FBI agents declared Bari and Cherney as the only suspects despite dozens of death threats provided to them on the day of the bombing and despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Bari and Cherney’s successful civil rights lawsuit, filed in 1991, claiming their First and Fourth Amendment rights were violated when their FBI and OPD falsely arrested them and illegally searched their homes and arrested them instantly–all in order to silence their activities to organize protests to protect ancient redwood forests via the Redwood Summer 1990 campaign. The events took place in a highly charged year. It was the 20th anniversary of Earth Day and a ballot initiative–Forests Forever (Proposition 130) would have reformed logging practices by banning clearcutting, preserving ancient forests and endangered species and expanded stream protection zones among other proposed policies. The timber industry seized advantage of the bombing case to state that the initiative was supported by terrorists. It was defeated by just over one percentage point in a major setback for environmental protection advocates.
Darryl Cherney, Bari’s fellow organizer and her passenger in the car, has continually conducted his own investigation, with Bari until her 1997 passing from breast cancer, and subsequently on his own. Up to the present moment he has engaged in collecting and testing evidence in a relentless pursuit of the bomber the FBI appears intent on burying the identify of. A letter taking credit for two bombings, including the bomb in Bari’s Subaru, signed “The Lord’s Avenger,” provided detailed information of the design of a bomb that barely went off at the Louisiana Pacific sawmill in Cloverdale, CA as well as the one in Bari’s car. The bomb in Cloverdale is nearly in tact, has much duct tape and other materials that could provide DNA and fingerprints that could be most helpful in identifying the culprit. FBI and Oakland Police conducted no testing of any kind–not even fingerprint comparisons–to determine who bombed Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney.
A jury awarded the two–in Bari’s case, to her estate–$4.4 million which was later settled post-trial for $4 million plus two other conditions: That the evidence be turned over to Cherney, and that May 24, 1990 be proclaimed Judi Bari Day by the city of Oakland, which did, in fact, occur; and that any evidence the FBI seeks to destroy by claiming it is contraband, has to first be run by the plaintiffs in order to give them a chance to motion for its preservation, which is what occurred by the filing of this motion on August 4.