San Diegans Condemn Militarization of Barrio Logan by Mayor Faulconer and Chief Zimmerman

by on June 1, 2016 · 3 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Environment, History, Politics, San Diego

Community is urged to report incidents of police abuse, mistreatment, and arrests during Trump protests

By Alliance San Diego

 

Phalanx of San Diego police confront lone citizen on Harbor Drive

(Photo by Gabriela Martínez Córdova)

Editor: Following last Friday’s anti-Trump demonstrations at the San Diego Convention Center, local police and other law enforcement agencies descended on Barrio Logan in an unnecessary show of militarized force, corralling a community and making over 2 dozen arrests. This is a statement in response by Alliance San Diego. After the statement, we publish an update by Doug Porter from today’s San Diego Free Press.

Community leaders were shocked by the unwarranted show of force that law enforcement used during the peaceful rallies and marches that took place on Friday May 27 in response to the visit of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

It is reprehensible that Mayor Faulconer and Chief Zimmerman ordered riot police and armored vehicles to descend into Barrio Logan, a historic community with a rich tradition of advocating for civil, human rights and the self-determination of the Mexicano community. Such violent action was an irresponsible act of provocation that was only successful in driving a bigger wedge between the police department and our community,

– said Kiki Ochoa, a member of Unión del Barrio, one of the organizations that led a large contingent into downtown from Barrio Logan without incident.

San Diegans demand that Mayor Faulconer and Chief Zimmerman account for their actions that created unnecessary tension and arrests in Barrio Logan. The use of small tanks and riot police against San Diego residents has no place in America’s Finest City. If residents were victims of police abuse, we urge them to have their stories documented with the ACLU at (619) 232-2121,

– said Pedro Ríos, Director of the American Friends Service Committee in San Diego.

This link provides Video and photos contrasting extreme show of force and peaceful protest in community.

For many years, San Diego community leaders have engaged with city leaders and law-enforcement officials to dialogue about public actions involving protected First Amendment speech. This had been done in order to ensure that the right to peacefully assemble occurs without the encumbrance of disproportionate and unnecessary force. But on Friday, May 27, that right was undermined by law enforcement and city leaders, which turned Barrio Logan into a militarized zone, threatening residents and scaring families.

In the late afternoon, either Mayor Faulconer or Chief Zimmerman, decided that the assembly in the free speech zone at the Convention Center was unlawful and began to disperse the crowd, but the bulk of the force appeared to be aimed at pushing mostly Latino community members into Barrio Logan. Law enforcement officials dressed in riot gear with armored vehicles behind them, marched in a wall of force that stretched the width of Harbor Drive, pushing a small number of protestors from downtown San Diego into the residential area of Barrio Logan, over a mile away.

Once in Barrio Logan, the community was surrounded by SDPD squad cars with lights flashing, corralling people in the neighborhood. The Mayor’s and Chief’s decision to effectively put Barrio Logan under Martial Law is irresponsible and violates the community’s trust.

Just moments before riot police descended into Barrio Logan, leaders at a peaceful rally at Chicano Park, attended by families—including seniors and children—had urged rally goers to go home peacefully and enjoy the holiday weekend.

Last Friday’s actions by the San Diego Police Department eroded trust with the community and violated the long-standing tradition of residents exercising their constitutionally protected right to peacefully assemble without police provocation or interference.

___________________

Here is an update by Doug Porter.

Community activists in San Diego called out the Faulconer administration’s willingness to use a shotgun to kill a fly following a massive show of force ending in the Barrio Logan neighborhood.

San Diego’s Trump ‘Riots’

SDPD overdoes crowd controlYes, indeed folks, the arrest of 35 people for failing to disperse following the San Diego Police Department’s declaration of an unlawful assembly has now been transformed into a riot in the small minds of Trumpian minions.

At least that’s what’s being said by the commentariat in response to media accounts about the anti-Trump demonstrations.

Official accounts say there was no property damage and no injuries…

The unlawful assembly declaration came at the end of a long day of peaceful and passionate demonstrations.

Leaders of a large group that marched from Chicano Park to the Convention Center and departed en masse are saying their decision to leave earlier in the day was prompted by the failure of local authorities to protect demonstrators from aggressive behavior by Trump supporters.

There was a press conference held in Barrio Logan on Tuesday, May 31, with leaders of community groups criticizing the strategy and tactics of the SDPD.

The American Civil Liberties Union is looking to document acts amounting to infringement of lawful and peaceful First Amendment protests.

plea for witnessesFrom 10News:

Ricardo Favela of Alliance San Diego said the area was turned into a militarized zone, threatening residents and scaring families.

“Law enforcement officials dressed in riot gear with armored vehicles behind them, marched in a wall of force that stretched the width of Harbor Drive, pushing a small number of protesters from downtown San Diego into the residential area of Barrio Logan, over a mile away,” Favela said.

“Once in Barrio Logan, the community was surrounded by SDPD squad cars with lights flashing, corralling people in the neighborhood,” he said. “The mayor’s and chief’s decision to effectively put Barrio Logan under martial law is irresponsible and violates the community’s trust.”

The official view of what occurred is that everything was proper.

From the Union-Tribune:

“We are proud of the professionalism, restraint and patience displayed by all of the involved officers and deputies during Mr. Trump’s visit to San Diego. They provided a safe environment to allow for the freedom of speech,” Lisa McKean, spokeswoman for the Police Department, said in a statement. “Our decision to declare an unlawful assembly came as a result of violent behavior and unlawful acts within the crowd of protesters. We are very pleased with the outcome of Friday’s event.”

Jan Caldwell, spokeswoman for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, said law enforcement must wear protective equipment in situations where violence is likely. “This is for their safety in a potentially dangerous circumstance,” she said in a statement. “We wanted to safeguard the community, the protesters, as well as law enforcement on Friday. And, we did.”

In his statement, Faulconer spokesman Matt Awbrey said, “The police department did a remarkable job of creating a safe environment where everyone, supporters and protesters alike, could express their First Amendment right to free speech.”

Apparently that “safe environment” didn’t preclude rightist individuals from harassing, provoking and even assaulting peaceful protestors.

Pro-Trump people pepper spraying demonstrators (photo: Jimi Giannatti)

Pro-Trump people pepper spraying demonstrators (photo: Jimi Giannatti)

 

Right wingers at trump rally

From Mark lane on Facebook: These dudes from Huntington beach with about 10 more of their friends posted up in the middle of us and started taunting, spoiling for a fight, they got some takers and then the cops rolled in. The media doesn’t report it like it happened, and completely omitted the 9 hours of peaceful protest before the stormtroopers rolled in. Lame.

 

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie June 1, 2016 at 1:02 pm

That’s an incredible photo by Gabriela Martínez Córdova with the one guy in front of all those ranks of cops. It reminds me of that famous photo of the Chinese man standing in front of that line of tanks back in 1989.

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Jan Michael Sauer June 1, 2016 at 2:27 pm

The OB Rag always has great photography. I am also looking forward to more of Frank’s camping photos this year, I hope.

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Freedom Please June 1, 2016 at 3:35 pm

Frank, incredible video is from @CBS8 of takedown by @SanDiegoPD of @BryanPease by 2-3 officers via News 8 helicopter & also @10NewsChen . @VotePease has his cellphone video also. All very shameful for someone questioning police action 2 miles away from event. But Bryan Stands Up for civil rights, especially for those under served. His done it many time before against @CityOfSanDiego and PD. Hope it doesn’t get so nuts with Clinton visiting @BalboaPark. Or #NPafterdark if she chooses to visit there after @ExploreBP Really candidates like Atty Pease that want to support constituents over Corporations & outsiders deserve our attention & support.

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