imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Cinco de Mayo Street Celebrations Shut Down by San José Police

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday, May. 16, 2010 at 4:26 AM
sjpjc@sanjosepeace.org 408-297-2299 San Jose Peace & Justice Center

During Cinco de Mayo celebrations, residents of San José faced daytime checkpoints, citations, and arrests on a scale not matched by any other festival of the year. By 10 pm the focus appeared to be diverting cars and mostly-Latino youths from the downtown area, effectively evacuating the city center and shutting down street celebrations on two nights.

Cinco de Mayo Street...
5m-01.jpg, image/jpeg, 903x585

Cars adorned with Mexican flags and red flags of the United Farm Workers – founded by former San José resident César Chávez – crept down Santa Clara Street bumper-to-bumper. Joyous rhythmic Mexican music blared through the air of a cooler-than-normal Sunday in May. Some car owners were out to show off their low-riders whose pneumatic suspensions made their cars “dance” in the street. A few gunned their engines in quests for attention. In general, there was little evidence of activity that would endanger public safety.

However, during the daytime on May 2, 2010 during two half-hour intervals on seven blocks of Santa Clara Street, there were at least 9 different cars stopped by San José police. This amounts to more than one stop every seven minutes. In the majority of cases, a citation was issued. Two cases led to arrests. Another case involved a time-consuming inspection of the under-carriage of an SUV. Two cars were released without citation. Cars were being asked to stop for inspection without any obvious traffic violation or unsafe behavior. With bumper-to-bumper traffic, speeding was impossible. Each case was photographically documented.

This writer walked along Santa Clara Street between Eighth Street to First Street for a half hour from 4:35 pm to 5:05 pm and again from 5:45 pm to 6:15 pm. The time in between was spent walking down Market Street to San Carlos Street up to Discovery Meadow where the official Cinco de Mayo celebration was being held and no police cars were on patrol.

The frequency of stops was a reduction in targeting the Mexican American holiday over 2009, when 14 vehicle stops per hour were photographically documented along a 4-block section of Santa Clara Street (Sharat G. Lin, “San José Police Department targets Latinos, photo survey shows,” Indybay, May 19, 2009, http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/05/19/18595858.php).

On Sunday evening between 9 and 10 pm, as traffic backed up downtown, police road blocks prevented cars from turning south from Santa Clara Street towards San José State University or east from Fourth Street. The road blocks appeared to be aimed at funneling traffic out of downtown to the eastside or onto Freeway I-680. However, southbound traffic on King Road and Jackson Avenue was also prevented from reaching Story Road. Several drivers later complained that police refused to allow them to reach their homes even when they offered to show proof of residence in the area.

A similar scene was repeated on the night of Wednesday, May 5. Numerous groups of youths began walking down Santa Clara Street in the evening. Police resumed stops of vehicles and pedestrians. By 10:30 pm the road blocks were in place to divert traffic out of the downtown area. Before midnight, Santa Clara Street had been virtually evacuated.

“I’ve never seen anything like this anywhere else,” observed new resident Chris Lepe. “In the tenth largest city, downtown has been turned into a ghost town.”

The police presence was intensely focused on Santa Clara Street where Latinos, joined by other people of color, were out to enjoy Cinco de Mayo by cruising into downtown from the eastside. The visible police presence was important in effectively preventing numerous groups of youths from doing mischief. However, the arbitrary pulling over of cars at random checkpoints yielded few citations for violation of public safety, such as driving while intoxicated or threats of violence. Most youths were too young to be even admitted into bars. Instead, many citations were for license or registration documents out of order, parole violations, and issues not related to immediate public safely.

This raises the question as to why the San José Police Department does not implement the same sorts of random checkpoints during other crowded festivals like the Saint Patrick’s Day parade, Tet Festival, Veterans’ Day parade, Independence Day, Amgen Tour of California, or Christmas in the Park. A similar question can be asked about why SJPD does not evacuate downtown routinely on Friday and Saturday nights or on New Year’s Eve when crowds are out late and the bars are full.

The controversy over alleged San José police targeting of Latinos began years ago with charges that police made more arrests during Cinco de Mayo celebrations than at any other time of the year in apparent response to a few years of reported rowdiness and public drunkenness. These allegations against the police were given more weight when the San Jose Mercury News (Sean Webby, “Drunkenness arrests in San Jose outpace other California cities,” October 18, 2008, http://www.mercurynews.com/san-jose-public-drunkenness/ci_10755739) reviewed arrest data, showing that 57 per cent of those charged with public drunkenness in San José in 2007 were Hispanic. Yet Hispanics represented only 32 per cent of the city’s population in that year.

Community leaders have repeatedly emphasized that the community is not against the police, but really wants to work with police to ensure public safety. A visible police presence is necessary to keep the peace, but frequent stops exclusively on Cinco de Mayo appear to be discriminatory. The unnecessary stops only serve to drive a wedge between police and the community, and in particular between the police and Latino youths. This can only have an adverse impact in preventing and investigating crime.

Community activists have repeatedly appealed to the San José City Council to review police practices on Cinco de Mayo. At a time of San José’s most severe budget crisis ever, many residents are asking how the city can afford thousands of hours of police overtime pay for unprecedented enforcement actions exclusively on Cinco de Mayo.

Report this post as:

4:36 pm, Cinco de Mayo celebration on May 2

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday, May. 16, 2010 at 4:26 AM
sjpjc@sanjosepeace.org 408-297-2299 San Jose Peace & Justice Center

4:36 pm, Cinco de Ma...
5m-02.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x550

Police load an arrestee into a police van after stopping his car at a checkpoint on Santa Clara Street at Seventh Street.

Report this post as:

4:39 pm

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday, May. 16, 2010 at 4:26 AM
sjpjc@sanjosepeace.org 408-297-2299 San Jose Peace & Justice Center

4:39 pm...
5m-03.jpg, image/jpeg, 625x400

Police stop and release a vehicle without issuing a citation at a checkpoint on Santa Clara Street at Seventh Street.

Report this post as:

4:40 pm

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday, May. 16, 2010 at 4:26 AM
sjpjc@sanjosepeace.org 408-297-2299 San Jose Peace & Justice Center

4:40 pm...
5m-04.jpg, image/jpeg, 750x600

Police stop a car and issue a citation at a checkpoint on Santa Clara Street at Seventh Street.

Report this post as:

5:03 pm

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday, May. 16, 2010 at 4:26 AM
sjpjc@sanjosepeace.org 408-297-2299 San Jose Peace & Justice Center

5:03 pm...
5m-05.jpg, image/jpeg, 818x531

Police stop a car and make an arrest at a checkpoint on Santa Clara Street at First Street.

Report this post as:

5:45 pm

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday, May. 16, 2010 at 4:26 AM
sjpjc@sanjosepeace.org 408-297-2299 San Jose Peace & Justice Center

5:45 pm...
5m-06.jpg, image/jpeg, 640x420

Police stop a car and issue a citation at a checkpoint in the median of Santa Clara Street at First Street.

Report this post as:

5:50 pm

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday, May. 16, 2010 at 4:26 AM
sjpjc@sanjosepeace.org 408-297-2299 San Jose Peace & Justice Center

5:50 pm...
5m-07.jpg, image/jpeg, 715x425

Just moments later, police stop a second vehicle and release it without citation at the same checkpoint in the median of Santa Clara Street at First Street.

Report this post as:

6:02 pm

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday, May. 16, 2010 at 4:26 AM
sjpjc@sanjosepeace.org 408-297-2299 San Jose Peace & Justice Center

6:02 pm...
5m-08.jpg, image/jpeg, 775x515

Police stop a car and issue a citation at a checkpoint on Santa Clara Street at Fourth Street.

Report this post as:

6:05 pm

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday, May. 16, 2010 at 4:26 AM
sjpjc@sanjosepeace.org 408-297-2299 San Jose Peace & Justice Center

6:05 pm...
5m-09.jpg, image/jpeg, 850x450

Police stop a car at a checkpoint at the Chevron petrol station on Santa Clara Street and Fourth Street.

Report this post as:

6:13 pm

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday, May. 16, 2010 at 4:26 AM
sjpjc@sanjosepeace.org 408-297-2299 San Jose Peace & Justice Center

6:13 pm...
5m-10.jpg, image/jpeg, 800x600

Police stop an SUV, inspect the undercarriage, and issue a citation at a checkpoint on Santa Clara Street at Fourth Street.

Report this post as:

8:47 pm, Cinco de Mayo celebration on May 5

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday, May. 16, 2010 at 4:26 AM
sjpjc@sanjosepeace.org 408-297-2299 San Jose Peace & Justice Center

8:47 pm, Cinco de Ma...
5m-11.jpg, image/jpeg, 750x550

Latino youths proudly display a United Farm Workers flag as they walk along Santa Clara Street. The street is alive with pedestrians and traffic.

Report this post as:

8:55 pm

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday, May. 16, 2010 at 4:26 AM
sjpjc@sanjosepeace.org 408-297-2299 San Jose Peace & Justice Center

8:55 pm...
5m-12.jpg, image/jpeg, 800x500

Sheriff deputies arrest a youth for possible possession of illegal substances on the VTA Light Rail platform on Second Street just off Santa Clara Street. Moments later they are joined by San Jose police.

Report this post as:

12:02 am

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday, May. 16, 2010 at 4:26 AM
sjpjc@sanjosepeace.org 408-297-2299 San Jose Peace & Justice Center

12:02 am...
5m-13.jpg, image/jpeg, 720x508

Police arrest a youth for parole violation while his friends are forced to sit on the curb and wait on Ninth Street just off Santa Clara Street.

Report this post as:

10:41 pm

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday, May. 16, 2010 at 4:26 AM
sjpjc@sanjosepeace.org 408-297-2299 San Jose Peace & Justice Center

10:41 pm...
5m-14.jpg, image/jpeg, 774x518

Police funnel traffic off of Santa Clara Street in front of City Hall at Fourth Street.

Report this post as:

11:58 pm

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday, May. 16, 2010 at 4:26 AM
sjpjc@sanjosepeace.org 408-297-2299 San Jose Peace & Justice Center

11:58 pm...
5m-15.jpg, image/jpeg, 774x518

Mission accomplished: Santa Clara Street looks like a ghost town. The Cinco de Mayo celebration has been effectively extinguished.

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
More Post 9-11 Police State USA by Public Enemies aka COPS (Criminals on Patrol) Post 9-11 Public Enemies COPS Sunday, May. 16, 2010 at 7:24 PM

Local News

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

COP 21, 25, 32, de l'écocide organisé N11 11:45PM

fbi & fmj are ' Lord of the Flies ' N11 8:26PM

Parangon d'une grande infestation N11 12:03AM

Video: Beautiful Country Burn Again, 39 min N10 10:19PM

OBAMA WERE POW'S LEFTBEHIND IN AFGHANISTAN IRAQ AND LIBYA N08 7:57PM

OBAMA WERE POWS LEFT BEHIND IN AFGAHNISTAN IRAQ AND LIBYA N08 7:29PM

DID BARACK OBAMA LEAVE POWS BEHIND IN AFGAHNISTAN IRAQ AND LIBYA N08 6:43PM

DID BARACK OBAMA LEAVE POWS BEHIND IN AFGHANISTAN IRAQ AND LIBYA N08 5:50PM

Paraphysique de l'Etat d'urgence N08 4:24AM

Republican Vote Fraud Reached A New Level In Midterms N07 7:50PM

Lobotomisation populationnelle N07 7:28AM

Texas Finally Ousts Culberson! N07 4:43AM

Israel Quit UNESCO, Um-Shmum, Make Ben-Gurion Proud! N06 7:37PM

Mafia City Hack Mod Generator - Generate 15.000 Gold N06 2:04AM

Ronald L. Havner & The Sleazy Corporate Whores @PublicStorage RAPED ME! N05 10:25PM

Trumponomics and Wall Street Rejoices N05 11:36AM

8 GOP Candidates For Governor Want Executions To Continue In Their States N05 10:11AM

Paraphysique de l'hybris pirocratie N05 7:40AM

Pity Yitzhak Rabin Wasn’t Israel’s Trump! N03 11:01PM

Une machine c'est crétin N03 7:45AM

Nuke Plants Cause Excess CancerDeaths When Running, Rates Decline When They Shut Down N01 10:20PM

Right-wing Populism: A Wave of Nostalgia N01 11:02AM

Paraphysique du profit de l'horreur N01 8:11AM

Trump: A Disaster For Animals As Well As People O31 10:25PM

26 Ways Trump Has Increased The National Debt By 4 to 5 Trillion Dollars O31 9:44PM

Right-wing Populism: Can More Madness Cure the Madness? O31 2:13AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Autoréplication, l'Histoire en rétroaction O30 8:50AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy