Earth First! bomb victims win again
The two won a $4.4 million verdict against the FBI and Oakland Police in 2002, but were back in court following notification that evidence in the case — remnants of the bomb — was about to be destroyed. Lawyers for the duo requested the evidence be returned to them as per a later settlement that reduced the award to $4 million, and the court agreed.
Bari died of cancer in 1997, but Cherney is happy with the court’s decision.
“It feels fantastic,” Cherney told KMUD news. Law enforcement and the Obama administration are having to “deal with tremendous transgressions by America’s secret police, the FBI,” he said.
Cherney said the FBI cited the case of Unibomber Ted Kaczynski as reason that he should be denied the evidence. But the court said that case supported Cherney because unlike the unibomber, Cherney has clean hands and good intentions with the evidence.
The bomber has never been found, or even investigated according to Cherney and Bari, who were accused of bombing themselves by FBI and police.
Cherney said it’s rare to have a case where activists come out on top, and that the situation is “not amazing if you see that the FBI never thought they would get caught.”
The evidence will be turned over to a DNA analyst chosen by Cherney and approved by the court.
The bombing occurred on May 24, 1990 as the activists were beginning a campaign against logging of old-growth forests.