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Salinas P.D. Kills Three. Let's Have a Rally!
by Bradley Allen ( bradley [at] bradleyallen.net )
Sunday Jun 1st, 2014 12:45 AM
Rudy Medina, born in Salinas, held a banner that read, "Desarmen a la policía (Disarm the police)." Medina said, "It's been brewing for a long time. The Police Department can't get away with abusing and murdering youth."
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[Photo: A woman born and raised in Salinas holds a sign that reads, "How to get away with murder and get paid vacation?? Be a Cop!!"]

Salinas P.D. Kills Three. Let's Have a Rally!

On Saturday, May 31, approximately three dozen people, most with ties to the Salinas Police Department or other law enforcement, rallied at the intersection of West Alisal Street and Lincoln Avenue in Salinas to show their support for the Salinas Police Department. Event organizer Ashley Ray wrote, "we organized the rally as a show of support for the police department and their efforts and EVERY action to keep the community safe. We do not support abuse of authority, racism, bigotry or oppression."

In response, the Direct Action Monterey Network (DAMN) and their comrades in Salinas mobilized a small counter demonstration "because a pro-cop rally in response to what's been going on is a pro-murder-of-Latino-farmworkers rally and can not be left unanswered."

DAMN explains, "This is not about specific cops or their personal attitudes and beliefs. This is about exposing the Salinas PD for being the violent, oppressive institution that it is. Their daily intimidation and harassment, as well as these recent murders, reinforces a racist, exploitative system. We are standing up to them, as well as to those members of the community who are voicing their support for such an institution."

Before the rally began, I spoke with Eleazar, a older gentleman sitting on a bench in downtown Salinas. Eleazar is from Michoacán, Mexico and has lived in Salinas for 35 years. He is, "against what the police are doing. People came here to work and should be left alone." I asked Eleazar how he felt about people from around the state of California mobilizing to Salinas for last Sunday's rally and march. "When people from around the state gather it shows support and solidarity, and shows that people are paying attention."

Supporters of the Salinas Police Department began their rally in the courtyard in front of City Hall. Terry Heffington, a retired police commander, kindly offered me a donut when I arrived, but I graciously declined.

Reporters working for KSBW interviewed Ashley Ray. The most interesting portion of the interview was the issue that was not brought up. The KSBW cameraperson, who also participated in the interview of Ray, stated off-camera that he believes the police officers should not have killed Mr. Mejia. "The taser malfunctions so you shoot the guy? What policies, if any, are in place for when a taser malfunctions? I'm surprised people aren't bringing that up."

Just before walking from the City Hall courtyard to West Alisal and Lincoln, Trisha Deblois, a nurse for 30 years at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, lamented, "It's a shame there's not more people here. Maybe we should have got the homeless to march with us."

At the intersection, Deblois chanted loudly, "We support Salinas police officers. They're our heroes. That's why they have to kill criminals. To keep us safe." Deblois told me that nurses, doctors, and all healthcare workers signed a flag in support of the Salinas Police, and "there wasn't enough room for more signatures."

While speaking with Heffington, the retired police commander, I asked what role LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) is having. She said that she wasn't sure, but "LULAC seemed to be unifying the community with the Police Department to understand the laws and policies. People in LULAC are unifiers."

I also asked Heffington how she felt about LULAC having a role in organizing last Sunday's march. She stated, "They do it in a systematic, calm, and civil way. The march was to bring up questions. I'd want some questions answered if it was my son."

Heffington had thoughts for the media too, "Instead of putting shooting victims on the front page, how about kids winning awards?"

I crossed the street and spoke with Carlos Ortiz of Seaside, the boyfriend of organizer Ashley Ray. Ortiz, a young Latino man, held a sign that read, "Thank you Salinas P.D." I asked him how he felt about the police killing Carlos Mejia, and Ortiz replied, "It might have been a little excessive. They did their job. I want to get into the Academy. And I'm here to support my girlfriend."

Loud anti-police chants were emanating from the kitty-corner of the intersection, "No Justice, No Peace. Killer Cops Off The Streets."

In response to the anti-police chants, one woman theorized, "That's truly the Bob Marley corner over there." I asked her if I heard correctly and she confirmed, while further explaining, "I think they're using some of it, and that clearly affects their judgment."

Irma Gowin was born in Mexico and grew up in Castroville. She stated that she, "Understands the culture. I've travelled to many places in the world and there's lots of corruption abroad. There's corruption all over the world. But not in the USA. The USA is unique." Gowin continued, "There are some bad police, but the Salinas Police are good police. Of course I am going to support the Salinas Police."

I ventured over to the "DON'T Support the Salinas PD" Rally and talked with Rudy Medina who was born in Salinas and holding one side of a banner that read, "Desarmen a la policía (Disarm the police)." Medina attends graduate school in Utah and was home visiting his family. He, "saw this was happening and came to support. It's been brewing for a long time. The Police Department can't get away with abusing and murdering youth."

A young woman born and raised in Salinas held a sign that read, "How to get away with murder and get paid vacation?? Be a Cop!!" Her friend, also from Salinas, had a sign asking, "What Are You Supporting? Murder??"

Another young woman displayed a sign reading, "Killer Cops Off Our Streets," and a young man who grew up in East Salinas held a sign stating, "2 Shootings in 11 Days by SPD Not Acceptable."


Bradley Allen is a photographer, Indymedia volunteer, and website developer living in Santa Cruz, California. All photos free for non-commercial reuse, on non-commercial websites (So Not On Facebook). For other use, please contact me. Photo credit and a link to this article is appreciated. Support local independent media.

§We Are In The USA!!
by Bradley Allen Sunday Jun 1st, 2014 12:45 AM
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§West Alisal Street and Lincoln Avenue in Salinas
by Bradley Allen Sunday Jun 1st, 2014 12:45 AM
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§Bravery SPD Heroes!!
by Bradley Allen Sunday Jun 1st, 2014 12:45 AM
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§Who Are You Going To Call! SPD
by Bradley Allen Sunday Jun 1st, 2014 12:45 AM
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§I Love Salinas P.D.
by Bradley Allen Sunday Jun 1st, 2014 12:45 AM
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§Salinas Fire Shows Their Support for Salinas Police
by Bradley Allen Sunday Jun 1st, 2014 12:45 AM
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§SUPPT SPD for Real Peace
by Bradley Allen Sunday Jun 1st, 2014 12:45 AM
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§Thank You Salinas P.D.
by Bradley Allen Sunday Jun 1st, 2014 12:45 AM
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§Keep Our Streets Safe
by Bradley Allen Sunday Jun 1st, 2014 12:45 AM
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§We Support The Salinas P.D.
by Bradley Allen Sunday Jun 1st, 2014 12:45 AM
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§Support The Police, Not The Mob!
by Bradley Allen Sunday Jun 1st, 2014 12:45 AM
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§SPD Keep Calm And Support The Police
by Bradley Allen Sunday Jun 1st, 2014 12:45 AM
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§Killer Cops Off Our Streets
by Bradley Allen Sunday Jun 1st, 2014 12:45 AM
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§What Are You Supporting? Murder??
by Bradley Allen Sunday Jun 1st, 2014 12:45 AM
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§2 Shootings in 11 Days by SPD Not Acceptable
by Bradley Allen Sunday Jun 1st, 2014 12:45 AM
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§Desarmen a la policía (Disarm the police)
by Bradley Allen Sunday Jun 1st, 2014 12:45 AM
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§Honk if you Support S.P.D
by Bradley Allen Sunday Jun 1st, 2014 12:45 AM
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§Support The Salinas Police
by Bradley Allen Sunday Jun 1st, 2014 12:45 AM
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Comments  (Hide Comments)

by mullato
Sunday Jun 1st, 2014 1:59 PM
i am native american black french english and jewish and cannot hop on my bike without getting a ticket immediately by white mexican american asian with the help of sometimes black cops. you think the united states isnt run by corrupt police? white guys and even mexican american people dont get pulled over for not having lights etc. on bicycles but a mix nationality person does. they keep ripping me off with constant ticketing ,like street criminals, . a mexican american female cop was latest to give me bike ticket. she even made me sit on the sidewalk for a bike ticket like youre in afghanistan! no more police! or give me my money back from constant tickleting. you know a white guy who got into fight with palo alto police and he still rides without a light and doesent get ticketed. you saying they dont discrtiminate against mixed people? you dont know anything about bpeople. police supporters are scared and want to get into blame game. blaming semitic and mixed peoples. i unconditionally suppoprt anti police ''demonstration''. dont constantly harass and give me tickets you might have credibility.
by there you have it
Sunday Jun 1st, 2014 7:12 PM
from the article:

While speaking with Heffington, the retired police commander, I asked what role LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) is having. She said that she wasn't sure, but "LULAC seemed to be unifying the community with the Police Department to understand the laws and policies. People in LULAC are unifiers."

because "the people" need someone to explain to them the laws and policies (that justify police killings)

dang