Pomona, CA traffic checkpoint Wed.
Wednesday 22 April 2009
The Pomona Police Department (California) is conducting
another driver’s license/"DUI" traffic checkpoint tonight from 6:30pm to 2:30am
at Fair St. and E. Arrow Highway. This is the second Pomona PD checkpoint in
less than a week.
(Pomona is the fifth largest city in Los
Angeles County and is located in the eastern fringe, bordering San Bernardino
County. It has a population that is 70.8% Latino and 36.1% foreign born,
according to the U.S. Census American Community Survey 3-Yr Estimate,
Funding for the checkpoint comes from grants awarded to the
city of Pomona by the (state) Office of Traffic Safety. The administrators of
the grants are the University of California's Traffic Safety Center
based at UC Berkeley's Institute of Transportation Studies (http://www.tsc.berkeley.edu/checkpointminigrants/2008_2009checkpoint).
These local traffic checkpoints have a strong negative impact
on thousands of poor immigrants' budgets (including many families) as impound
and court citation fees usually total up to about $1,500, more or less. Their
work, school, and daily-living routines are severely thwarted with the loss of
their vehicle and their entanglement in the legal system also increases the
probability that their undocumented status will be (directly or indirectly)
detected by immigration authorities. Thus, increasing their chance of
This policing operation is inherently controversial (argued
as a 4th Amendment violation) and their excessive and arbitrary use in Pomona is
obvious. They are applied under the guise of a “color-blind traffic safety”
Those most responsible for maintaining the capricious
discriminatory checkpoint policy in Pomona, since 2006, are the police chiefs
and their command staff (http://www.ci.pomona.ca.us/city_departments/police/command_staff.php), but particularly the command staff of the Traffic Bureau or
Of course, the city council has the ultimate
administrative say on this issue yet they have done basically nothing to
end this unjust policy in Pomona (current council: http://www.ci.pomona.ca.us/city_departments/city_council/).
one councilmember, Vice-Major Cristina Carrizosa, has had the rational and
leadership to object to this compulsive and unjust practice which affect so many
Checkpoints were also held this past weekend on
Friday 4/17 and Saturday 4/18 in the neighboring city of Claremont (by the
Claremont Police Department) and Pomona, respectively. Both were held in areas
heavily populated and commuted by Latino immigrants.
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