Community is urged to report incidents of police abuse, mistreatment, and arrests during Trump protests
By Alliance San Diego
Tuesday, May 31 at 11 AM
Under the Barrio Logan Gateway Sign on César Chavez Parkway between Main Street and Newtown Avenue
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.
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, 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.