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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Police State and Prisons

Unarmed Couple Shot at By Salinas Police
by JDUB
Wednesday Feb 4th, 2009 10:50 PM
Another instance of reactionary policing. Luckily no one was physically injured.
From KCBA:

SALINAS, calif.- A routine traffic stop Tuesday night on Sanborn and Freedom Pwky ended with gunfire as two Salinas police officers opened fire on a SUV. The couple inside the car is speaking out and saying they did nothing wrong and that the officers shot at them with no warning.

"I feel scared, I don't feel like I'm protected in any way, it was just a horrible experience," said Adriana Velasquez, the driver of the tan SUV.

In tears, Adriana recounted the events from Tuesday night. She said she and her friend Julio Hernandez were driving home when a cop pulled them over just blocks from her house. She said the officer asked them both for their i.d.'s, but that's when she said things went very wrong.

"As I was getting registration and handing it to him and my passenger was getting his license, I saw the officer pulling back and running away from the car," said Velasquez.

Velasquez said the officer thought Hernandez had a gun, which she said was just his wallet. Salinas Police said there were no weapons found. Velasquez said the officer yelled and that's when the gunshots began.

"Shots just kept on going off and lots of gunshots set off," said Velasquez.

The two police officers who fired at the car are on administrative leave. Salinas police said the officers shot at the car after noticing something suspicious.

"As officers made contact with occupants of vechicle, they perceived a threat and reacted to the threat and several shots fired," said Salinas Police Cmdr. Al Ruiz.

"I was telling them it's an i.d. It's an i.d.," said Velasquez.

Hernandez and Velasquez said the officers did not do their job and instead left them scared and confused.

"I thought cops were supposed to be here to protect and serve, not handled well, said Hernandez.

"They just did not handle the situation good at all," said Velasquez.

Velasquez and Hernandez were taken in for questioning and released from the police station early Wednesday morning. Salinas police said no arrests were made.

The investigation is still underway.