They Can't Shut Us Up! Pomona P.D. Caught Infiltrating Community Forum Against Racist Checkpoints
by Cal-Pulli Sound System
Thursday August 21, 2008 the Pomona Speaks Coalition held a community forum to address its current demands to end the racist checkpoints that plague our city of pre-dominantly so-called undocumented immigrants.
Dr. Jose Calderon of the Coalition and professor of sociology at Pitzer College welcomed the community. Here is an excerpt from the forum's flyer:
"As a result of the marches, letters to the newspapers, media coverage and presentations to the Pomona City Council, we have obtained important changes such as: No more checkpoints before 6:00 p.m. * No more four-way checkpoints * No more checkpoints in residential areas. but we have not won the battel yet! What do we want? We want DUI checkpoints to start at 9:00 p.m. as recommended by the State OTS agency. If driver is not charged with DUI, We don’t want cars to be impounded. We want people to exercise their right to call a licensed friend or relative to come and pick-up the vehicle. We want a thorough, independent investigation of the May 3rd, 2008 police action. We want the Pomona City Council to stop requesting grants to hold checkpoints until a just policy is put in place."
In addition, parents and youth from Pomona expressed their frustration and fear that has been instilled into them do to the racist checkpoints.
“Our community lives in fear because of the checkpoints. We can’t even go to get our groceries without worrying about getting our cars taken away. And every day it’s a logistical nightmare trying to find the safest way home in order to avoid the checkpoints”, said a resident of Pomona-a single mother of three.
Another young womyn also added, “Statistically you are more likely to get pulled over by a cop and get your car taken away than you are to get hit by a drunk driver. The police are not necessarily doing its job in protecting the people, instead its instilling fear. I don’t think any of us are arguing against protecting against drunk drivers, but that’s not what’s really going on in Pomona, and that’s what this is about.”
The forum was infiltrated by agitators who were quickly identified by several parents and university students as officers of the Pomona Police Department.
Sergeant O’Malley of the Pomona P.D. is the grant writer who applied for the State of California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) Sobriety Checkpoint Grant.
The video below shows Sgt. O’Malley accusing Dr. Calderon for being a liar probably because he argues that “the checkpoints are first and foremost a way of ridding the city of its poor and immigrant populations.”
Sgt. O’Malley threatened to take the man sitting next to him outside with the other officers to beat him up.
“I’ve never seen them before and they knew my name and my license plate number. Probably because I’m part of the Coalition,” said the threatened community member.
There was approximately twelve Pomona Police Officers reeking of liquor and posing as civilians with anit-immigrant sentiments.
Their attempt to a provoke a violent confrontation amongst the community speaking out against both, the racist checkpoints and the police department, failed as the people pointed them out and forced them to leave.
The video below shows Pomona P.D. Officer Aleman being kicked out of the forum.
“I know Officer Aleman! He’s involved with afterschool programs at Philadelphia Elementary School where my son goes, those kids there look up to him. But now you can see Pomona P.D.’s true colors.”
The forum organizers collected proposals for future actions from the community:
· Demand that proof of attending driving schools be recognized as an alternative to alicense
· Take cars away from drunk drivers not un-licensed drivers
· The state should recognize licenses from other countries
· Protest on September 8 when the city will vote on accepting the OTS grant
· Demand an end to racial profiling
· Organize a text messaging network to spread the word when there are checkpoints