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Rage One (blog)

martes, septiembre 02, 2008

Pomona Coalition Demands An Investigation of Police Conduct

1 comentario

Coalition demands an investigation of police conduct

Arturo Jimenez

Article Created: 09/01/2008 05:29:55 PM PDT

[Inland Valley Daily Bulletin]Editor's note: Below is the text of the formal complaint sent Aug. 25 by Pomona Speaks/Pomona Habla Coalition to Pomona's mayor, council members and police chief, with copies to the city manager and city attorney.

The Pomona Speaks/Pomona Habla Coalition supports effective and professional police conduct. For this reason we came together to protest the inappropriate and discriminatory operations occurring during sobriety checkpoints as conducted by the Pomona Police Department.
A community meeting was held on Aug. 21 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 235 W. Third Street in Pomona. The purpose of the meeting was to inform community residents of the Coalition's progress that had been made and to provide community residents an opportunity to give public testimony.

Approximately 15 to 20 off-duty or undercover Pomona police officers from the Pomona Police Department were in attendance when the meeting began.

The police officers became disruptive, disrespectful and verbally abusive towards the residents giving testimony, and began to incite those around them.

They were yelling negative comments and provoking physical confrontation with people in attendance.

They were asked many times by security staff to desist in their disruptive behavior and to follow the established rules.

They were given the opportunity to speak in an orderly and respectful manner as all other participants did.

The plain-clothes Pomona police officers refused to respect the rights of people exercising their right to free speech and to peacefully assemble to seek redress of their grievances.

The officers also interfered with the participants' free exercise of religious expression. The forum was held in a Catholic faith-based religious center.

The officers continued to be disruptive and were then asked several times to leave the premises by security staff as their consent to be there was terminated.

After 10 to 15 minutes of asking them to leave and their continuing refusal to do so, the Pomona Police Department dispatch was called for assistance as the situation was becoming increasingly volatile.

It took about 15 to 20 minutes for uniformed Pomona police officers to arrive at which time the plain clothes police officers exited the auditorium but remained on the front sidewalk.
Before leaving they made several threatening and intimidating statements to community members and continued to be disorderly and confrontational.

The officers made statements to several witnesses that they were from the Pomona Police Officers Association.

While on camera, Sgt. O'Malley refused to identify himself only stating he was a representative of the Pomona officers association.

Witnesses also reported the strong odor of alcohol emanating from some of the un-uniformed Pomona police officers' breaths.

When the dispatched uniformed Pomona police officers met the uniformed officers at the front of the building they were observed by those present to begin to fraternize and laugh off the situation.

Uniformed officers refused to take a report even though citizens requested to file complaints for trespass, assault and criminal threats.

Approximately 40 to 50 community members with children left the meeting as they felt threatened by potential violence breaking out because of the un-uniformed Pomona police officers' aggressive misconduct.

We demand a full and independent investigation of the Aug. 21 incident at the Promesa de Dios Center.

The Pomona police officers' misconduct is clearly conspiracy to interfere and violate the people's exercise of civil and constitutional rights under color of law by the Pomona Police Department and/or the Pomona Police Officers Association.

Arturo Jimenez for the Pomona Speaks/Pomona Habla Coalition


Anónimo dijo...

Interestingly, the discussion on checkpoints occurs BEFORE the regular City Council meeting Monday... at 5 p.m. they are approving an amendment to the current checkpoint contract (you can look up the special meeting agenda for that night). So if you don't like checkpoints, make sure you show up then, and not at 7 p.m., to speak out against the renewal of the checkpoint agreement.

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