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Pomona, CA traffic checkpoint Wed. 4/22

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    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 23, 2009
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      Pomona, CA traffic checkpoint Wed. 4/22
      Wednesday 22 April 2009
      From: Juan C. Garcia jcgarcia91768@...

      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, 2005-2007.)

      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 deportation.

      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” policy.
      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 Traffic Division.
      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/).
      Only one councilmember, Vice-Major Cristina Carrizosa, has had the rational and leadership to object to this compulsive and unjust practice which affect so many poor people/familes.

      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.
      -Juan Carlos Garcia
      National Immigrant Solidarity Network
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