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Statement by Joaquin Cienfuegos of CopWatch on his Arrest and Release on Bail

by Joaquin Cienfuegos Wednesday, Jul. 09, 2008 at 1:53 PM

Comrades, I was just released this morning at 8am after being woken up at 3am, thanks to you comrades and your support. I can't begin to tell everybody how thankful I am. I trusted you all to know what to do and to do the right thing.

I was in isolation, segregated, and on lock down for majority of the time at Men's County Jail Twin Towers (in a little dungeon), and only had contact with my cell mate and the pig deputies. I didn't leave my cell not even to eat. I didn't involve myself in prison-politics and told people I'm that I was a revolutionary. I feel like that is one of the reasons why they had me on lock down, and because of my charge.

On the inside there were hundreds, over 90%, Brown and Black men. I met many people who were rounded up illegally by the Los Angeles Police Department. There were many cases, in one instance a Mexican man was stopped by and undercover pig in the Pico Union District, when he was walking, they took his ID and said it was false. He had been in america for 14 years and was now going to be separated from his family. In another case, a young Chicano was framed for a robbery he did not do and had a year taken from his life, and another Mexican male had been fighting a murder case he was innocent of for 3 years. There was a Black youth, who the police planted some weed on.

This is business as usual in Los Angeles. They need to put the thousands of new police officers to use in Los Angeles, and the jail needs to get that county money. This is the reality for our sisters and brothers, we are pushed into the system, and they want to keep us locked up or kill us off for good. The prison industrial complex exists, and to these people it's all business -- they don't care about us. All they care about is their empire and their profits.

On June 27th at around 10pm, I was dropping off my comrade at his house when the Hollywood police stopped us because my car doesn't have any license plates (I just got my car and it has a DMV permit on the front wind shield). What they saw was two young males of color in a car. They pulled me out the car, handcuffed me, and went into my pockets to get my driver's license. They then decided to go into my trunk without my consent. They began to pull out my personal belongings, all legal to carry in my trunk. They saw some fliers for the Summer Solidarity Festival/Free the Black Rider 3 event on July 12th, and saw a black case. They pulled out the case and asked me what was in it and pulled out an all-legal AR-15 riffle that is in my name. After this, they had already put me in the back seat of their car, and called their sergeant to plan their story and find anything to arrest me for.

They finally booked me at around 2 in the morning for carrying a loaded firearm and having four warrants, after they illegally searched my car. After spending the weekend in Parker Center on Monday I found out that the pigs had changed their story. They said they had stopped me for passing a stop sign (when I had made a right hand turn), they said they had done a legal search of my car, and were charging me with illegal possession of an assault riffle.

It's good to be on the outside though, and hope to help with the fund raising, our projects, and support for other comrades (like our sister who I hear caught a case as well). I also hope to remain in contact with people I met on the inside.

I apologize for taking time and resources away from the community and base building that you are all doing to focus on this case of pigs being pigs. I hope to fight it all the way through with the support of the community, organizations, and my family so we can show that it is a political case.

I don't apologize for standing up for my right to defend myself, our peoples and our communities. I could of handled the situation differently to avoid this situation, but anybody who resists will be beat down and smashed by the state, that's just the law of this motherfucking beast. I'm glad we're organized to deal with it on a small level. This isn't the first or the last time the fascist state has done this. They wanted to paint me as a gangster because I was legally carrying a gun, yet if I was a white male member of the National Riffle Association, I wouldn't get hassled for having a legal riffle, when the SWAT team and their imperialist army carries them as well. It is obvious that they have waged war on our communities and indigenous people everywhere, and we will continue to build a revolutionary popular movement of different communities to make some fundamental changes and take our territories back from the empire. That's what I have decided to live my life for. I understand that this process is a struggle, and those in the power structure will not allow this without a fight.

Today I'm just resting up, catching up with my family, running errands and getting back to people.

Hopefully we can meet up and make some plans, my phone is still inside my car that was impounded but you can leave me messages with your numbers (I'll be checking it).

We can't do this on our own, thanks comrades, lets keep moving forward.

-Joaquin

Thanks again for the support compas.

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