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Pomona : Residents Face Charges

A man arrested at a City Council meeting last week will also face charges of disrupting two previous council meetings from which police had forcibly ejected him.

John Marshall Lawrence, 66, is expected to enter a plea on the three misdemeanor counts on Oct. 14 in Pomona Municipal Court. Police physically removed Lawrence from council meetings on Aug. 29, Sept. 19 and Sept. 26 after he exceeded the council’s 5-minute limit for public comment and refused to sit down. Police arrested Lawrence after carrying him out of last week’s meeting, and he remained in jail for two days.

Appearing as a co-defendant with Lawrence will be Alfred Ramirez, 62, who is also charged with disrupting a public meeting. Ramirez was arrested Sept. 19 when he tried to re-enter the council chambers building after being ejected by police. Ramirez was removed after arguing loudly with police as they escorted Lawrence from the meeting.

Both Lawrence and Ramirez spoke at Monday night’s council meeting, angrily accusing city officials of criminal behavior. Both were admonished by Mayor Donna Smith for violating council rules of procedure, and Lawrence was ruled out of order several times by the mayor. Lawrence eventually obeyed Smith’s requests to sit down and was not arrested.

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