DROP THE CHARGES AGAINST FRANCISCO “CHAVO” ROMERO: Our Community Has a Right to Resist and Organize!
The Oxnard Police Department has charged and targeted Francisco ‘Chavo’ Romero, local community organizer and member of Unión del Barrio and Colectivo Todo Poder Al Pueblo with five (5) “failing to yield” tickets for the last community march against police brutality held in October . These “infractions” are an open attack on the COMMUNITY’S RIGHT TO RESIST AND ORGANIZE . Join us in defending our rights!
For more info: email@example.com or call (805) 3-AVISO-3
Retiren los cargos! LA COMUNIDAD TIENE DERECHO A LUCHAR! CONFERENCIA DE PRENSA: Reserve la fecha! Lunes diciembre 2 º – 11:45am en el palacio de justicia Condado de Ventura (800 Victoria Avenue, Ventura, CA).
El Departamento de Policía de Oxnard ha cargado y apuntado a Francisco ‘Chavo’ Romero, organizador de la comunidad local y miembro de la Unión del Barrio y el Colectivo Todo Poder Al Pueblo con cinco (5) “no ceder” entradas en la última marcha contra la brutalidad policial en Octubre. Estas “infracciones” son un ataque abierto sobre nuestro DERECHO DE LA COMUNIDAD PARA RESISTIR Y ORGANIZAR. Únase a nosotros en la defensa de nuestros derechos!
Para más información: firstname.lastname@example.org o llame al (805) 3-AVISO-3
Save the Date: Dec. 7, 2013: United Front for Justice and Dignity Conference: End the deportations! Deferred Action for All!
Immigration reform has stalled in Congress while both political parties begin the blame game and point fingers at each other to find fault. President Obama claims that he does not have the authority to stop deportations, but he certainly is the responsible party for deporting 2 million of our family members and separating them from each other. Yet, only recently he granted deferred action status to family members of military veterans. This is the second deferred action program over the past year-and-a-half due to Congress’s unwillingness to approve immigration reform. And, we don’t want just any type of immigration reform. We are fighting for one that is fair and humane. That means no guest-worker (bracero) programs, legal status for all (legalization), no border militarization, no E-verify, and no secured communities program obligating police collaboration with Department of Homeland Security. Everything before our eyes today is mere political theatrics to garner favor with Latino and Asian American voters for the 2014 elections. And, we are asked to wait another year, or two, or more. Now is the time to act to protect our families!
From the People’s Archives – 11/28/97: The Tragic Case of Oliverio Martinez, Oxnard Fieldworker who was Blinded, Paralyzed, and Interrogated by Oxnard Police
From the people’s archives:
at top, left to right: Senior Officer Maria Peña, Commander Andrew Salinas, Sgt. Ben Chavez (ret.)
Exclusive: Democracy Now! Broadcasts a Recording of a Police Sergeant Interrogating a Man Moments After Police Shoot him 5 Times, Paralyzing and Blinding Him.
(OXNARD) In November 1997, Oliverio Martinez rode his bicycle into the middle of an ongoing narcotics investigation. He was ordered to dismount; Officer Salina patted him down, then there was a scuffle. Salinas yelled, “he’s got my gun,” (this fact is in dispute). Officer Pena fired several shots. Five bullets struck Martinez, one in the face, which rendered him blind, one in the spine, which paralyzed his legs. He was handcuffed in this state, and questioned by Officer Chavez, both during the ambulance ride and while undergoing emergency treatment. Martinez cried several times, “I’m dying,” to which Officer Chavez replied, “OK, yes you are dying, but tell me why you are fighting, were you fighting with the police?”
Martinez sued the City of Oxnard and Officer Chavez on the grounds that they violated his constitutional rights (Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and 14th Amendments) by stopping him without probable cause, using excessive force, tampering with evidence, inflicting cruel and unusual punishment, and subjecting him to coercive interrogation.
The Bush administration joined with the city of Oxnard. In briefs filed in December 2002, U.S. Solicitor Gen. Theodore B. Olson and Michael Chertoff, stated, “Police can hold people in custody and force them to talk, so long as their incriminating statements are not used to prosecute them.”
Lamenting Miranda’s fall: http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0606-09.htm
Since September 11, thousands of Arab, Muslim, and South Asian immigrants in this country have been interrogated without the presence of attorneys, held in secret detention, beaten and mistreated in custody, and deported. But the heightened repression is not just aimed at Arab, Muslim, and South Asian immigrants. The war on civil liberties and people’s rights are part of an extreme agenda of those in power that is bringing ominous and sweeping changes that affect the people in the U.S.
The May 27 Supreme Court decision did not abolish Miranda rights altogether–but it was a big assault on what was supposed to be among the basic constitutional rights in this country. As Erwin Chemerinsky points out, “Constitutional rights have little meaning if they are not enforceable.”
Supreme Court: “You have the right to be interrogated when wounded” http://www.revcom.us/a/1208/miranda.htm
LA Times: It’s ‘Just Wrong,’ Says the Plaintiff
Oliverio Martinez is blind and paralyzed, and lives in a cramped trailer. He attributes his problems to his shooting by Oxnard police. http://articles.latimes.com/2003/may/28/nation/na-martinez28
LA Times: Justice Takes a Beating
The department is asking to meet with the person who shot the video
Note: Todo Poder al Pueblo has received reports that the aggressive cop is Officer Moses Martinez, 6 years in service. IF YOU HAVE ANY INFO ON THIS OFFICER CONTACT (805) 3-AVISO-3 // (805) 328-4763 or e-mail us at email@example.com
(EASTWOOD PARK, OXNARD) 11.21.13 – Oxnard police are being questioned after a YouTube video posted to their Facebook page ends with an officer appearing to aggressively reach for a cell phone being used to film another officer making an arrest at Eastwood Park.
The video, posted to YouTube Wednesday, currently has more than 2,000 views. Police were not aware of the video until it was posted to the department’s Facebook page.
It has some officials within the department shaking their heads.
“When I first saw it I thought it was a hoax,” Assistant Police Chief Scott Whitney told NBC4. “It’s not the way we do business; it’s not the way we’re trained, so I wasn’t happy when I saw it.”
It’s unclear what precedes the incident, or what follows after the video ends, but a 21-year-old man, who claims to have shot the video spoke with a blog called http://www.photographyisnotacrime.com.
The man, going by “Angel-B,” claims he was pushed into a picnic table as the officer continued to take his cellphone away. He said another officer stepped in and stopped the alleged aggressor.
Some Oxnard residents, who chose to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation from police, say they aren’t surprised by the video. A man who says he’s had run-ins with the department claims there is a widespread feeling of distrust with the department.
“This is far from an isolated incident but it is rare for a police department to publicly respond to the criticism, assuring they will investigate, so credit must be given to the department,” Carlos Miller, who runs the blog, said in a statement to NBC4. “We look forward to hearing the results of that investigation.”
Whitney assured the public that they should not fear the department.
“Our officers get disciplined when they make mistakes, people make mistakes. There’s no need to fear for retaliation,” Whitney said.
Oxnard police say they would like to speak with the man who shot the video. In an e-mail sent to NBC4, the man says he is willing to meet with police, and he plans on recording it.
SOURCE – http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Youtube-Video-Posted-to-Oxnard-Police-Departments-Facebook-Page-Raises-Questions-232938781.html
UPDATE: The aggressive cop in question has since been identified as Officer Moses Martinez.
An Oxnard police officer attacked a man for attempting to video record an arrest last week, twisting the man’s arm behind his back and violently shoving him against a bench after the man had placed the phone in his pocket.
The cop threatened to arrest the man for refusing to hand over his phone as “evidence” before a commanding officer intervened, telling the cop he was out of line.
The man, who goes by Angel B on Youtube, said he was allowed to leave, but he never did get the name of the officer.
And that is important if we want to at least try to hold him accountable.
The video lasts 38 seconds and shows Angel B approaching the arrests but remaining far enough away where he was not interfering. The cop storms up to him and appears to take a swing as the camera turns off.
In an email interview with Photography is Not a Crime, Angel B provided the following description of what took place:
I thought he was going to take a swing so i backed up. He grabbed my right arm and tried to take my phone by force. After i pulled away and put my phone in my back pocket. He twisted my arm behind my back and kept repeating for me to give it to him. After i kept refusing. He started to push and shove me to the bench i was standing behind in the video. He was forcefully trying to make me sit down by pushing me against the tables bench. After i didnt let him push me down, he asked a fellow officer for hand cuffs. He threatned me with arrest for recording and not giving him my phone which he said was evidence. A commanding officer approached and asked what was going on. The commanding officer told him he did not have to take my phone or put me in handcuffs. After they got my information i was free to go.
Angel B said he has had issues with the Oxnard Police Department in the past but when he has tried to go in and file a complaint, they refuse to hand him a complaint form.
The original video is below but a PINAC reader rotated it, allowing us to see it without craning our necks, which is the one above.
***IF YOU HAVE ANY INFO ON THIS OFFICER (other incidents) CONTACT (805) 3-AVISO-3 // (805) 328-4763 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org***
Re: Oxnard Police Chief Jeri William’s Oct. 27 guest column, “Different times call for different measures”:
Chief Williams presumes the public does not realize the difference between a public relations strategy, such as the one currently under way by Oxnard Police Department, and real structural change needed to hold police accountable for excessive violence.
As Williams draws from a field of study dedicated to police public relations, internal protections and a lack of rigorous independent oversight remain in place to prevent accountability within the department.
When the OPD killed Robert Ramirez, it betrayed the community’s trust. That Chief Williams is not reading a lack of community response to OPD’s “numerous efforts to reach out to its organizers” as both a reflection of that broken trust, and a desire to remain independent seems rather disingenuous.
The community relations work pursued by Williams is not designed for structural change, but for managing public perception. Chief Williams does so by discarding the historical context offered by the Oct. 20 editorial piece by Frank P. Barajas, presenting OPD as committed to the community, and marginalizing organizers from the broader community, suggesting that recent protests are unlawful and a threat to public safety.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to sincerely portray police violence as isolated incidents, given the existing pattern, statewide and nationally, wherein one unarmed youth of color after another is either abused or killed by the police (the police killing of 13 year-old Andy Lopez in Santa Rosa last week attests to that).
We need less community relations and more accountability.
- Victor Espinosa,
Response to Chief Williams: “Public Safety” the goal of Oxnard protests vs. police brutality & abuse
by Elliott Gabriel, submitted on behalf of the Todo Poder al Pueblo Collective.
With a strong sense of distaste, the Todo Poder al Pueblo Collective and the families of Oxnard’s police brutality victims read Williams’ guest column.
The chief apparently feels that the community’s expectations of justice can be silenced through intimidation alone. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Oct. 13 marked the one-year anniversary of the shooting of innocent bystander Alfonso Limon, Jr. by nine Oxnard police officers, as well as the extrajudicial killing of Jose Zepeda. That day, the families, friends and neighbors of Robert Ramirez, Michael Mahoney and Limon stood shoulder-to-shoulder in a nonpermitted yet entirely peaceful mobilization that showed the remarkable dignity, vigilance and discipline of our community.
However, Chief Williams seems to feel as though gestures like the offering of “parking accommodations” can help heal the deep wounds resulting from her officers’ actions. Her insensitive tone suggests a clear disconnect with the community whose public safety she’s sworn to assure.
Until her appointment by scandal-plagued former City Manager Ed Sotelo in fall 2010, Williams was an assistant police chief in Phoenix. As a newcomer, she shouldn’t misuse her privileged role to lecture Frank Barajas, a respected educator and local historian.
Instead, Williams should familiarize herself with his writings, where she can learn of the countless fighters who put their lives, comfort and safety on the line to secure the rights of residents in the face of harsh exploitation, institutional racism and routine police brutality.
Referring to the popular mood of past generations, Barajas wrote, “Police relations in La Colonia had become strained to the point that many residents, particularly its youth, viewed law enforcement as not their protectors but as an agency that violated their rights with impunity.”
Once Williams sets aside her contempt for the inconvenient lessons of our shared local history, she’ll discover that she’s echoing former Chief of Police A.E. Jewell, who also wrote Opinion pieces to protest community outrage.
In an op-ed published April 9, 1962, in the Oxnard Press-Courier, Jewell complained of the widespread allegations of criminal abuse of power under color of law: “Charges were hurled recklessly of police brutality in general.”
Civil rights partisan Juan Soria responded: “It certainly is appalling to see that these things exist in Oxnard. It is time for a change to take place.” What’s past is prologue.
Some changes have taken place, yet the OPD’s entrenched culture of disrespect toward the city’s Chicano, immigrant and working-class residents still persists. This is precisely why we refuse to take part in inconsequential public-relations spectacles hosted by the department.
For many in our community, police misconduct remains the foremost threat to public safety — just ask the families of the victims.
Meanwhile, our collective continues to receive complaints of police abuse from residents across the city.
We won’t be lulled into a false sense of security through the repetition of sweet-sounding yet hollow phrases like “community policing.” Taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be squandered on outsourced private vendors such as the misleadingly-named Office of Independent Review.
We prefer democratic solutions that serve the public interest like an elected, independent civilian review board that has the power to hire, fire and impose disciplinary measures. Officers implicated in killings must be removed from our streets, and an independent prosecutor should be appointed to investigate police negligence and malfeasance.
Chief Williams’ guest column wasn’t her first threat to arrest participants in Oxnard’s anti-brutality mobilizations. She has launched similar threats in the past, privately through her proxies.
At the time, we responded: “According to the OPD’s perverse notions of ‘justice,’ officers are free to kill the innocent and spray densely populated neighborhoods of families with high-caliber gunfire while jaywalking and writing on the pavement with sidewalk chalk somehow constitute serious crimes.
“However, while chalk can easily be washed away with water, the spilled blood of the victims doesn’t evaporate — it sinks deep into our streets and becomes embedded into the memory and consciousness of our community. Despite recent threats from the Oxnard Police Department to arrest organizers who continue to fight against police brutality, our belief is that the only true power lies in the people standing strong against all forms of aggression or humiliation.”
We stand by these words; bullying approaches won’t win the community’s confidence.
No justice, no peace!