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Indybay Feature
Sat May 15 2010 (Updated 05/16/10)
San José Police Shut Down Cinco de Mayo Street Celebrations
Daytime Checkpoints, Citations, Arrests in San José
Despite little evidence of activity that would endanger public safety, during daylight hours on May 2, San José police stopped cars for inspection without any obvious traffic violation or unsafe behavior, according to an eyewitness who documented traffic stops. Police issued numerous citations and arrested Latino drivers.

Later that evening, as traffic backed up downtown, police road blocks prevented cars from turning south from Santa Clara Street towards San José State University or east from Fourth Street. Several drivers later complained that police refused to allow them to reach their homes even when they offered to show proof of residence in the area. Police conducted a similar action on the night of May 5. The actions effectively evacuated the city center and shut down street celebrations for two nights.

Community activists have repeatedly appealed to the San José City Council to review police practices on Cinco de Mayo. Many residents are wondering how the city can afford thousands of hours of police overtime pay for extreme enforcement actions on Cinco de Mayo while the city faces a budget crisis.

photo Read more | 2009 Photo Survey: San José Police Department Targets Latinos

San José Peace and Justice Center
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