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Indybay Feature
Direct Action Monterey Network responds to Police Shooting in Salinas
by Direct Action Monterey Network (centralcoastdirectaction [at]
Wednesday May 21st, 2014 5:23 PM
On Tuesday, May 20 two members of the Salinas Police Department murdered a man. This is the response by the Direct Action Monterey Network.
On Tuesday, May 20 two members of the Salinas Police Department murdered a man. No excuses from the SPD can justify their actions. Anyone who has watched the video can clearly see two armed thugs approach a man carrying garden shears and a bag. The two thugs proceed to follow and surround the man, then shoot and kill him. Why is the reality of the situation not obvious to everyone? Because the two armed thugs wore badges and uniforms. In some people’s eyes, the position of “Police Officer” allows these murderers to act with impunity. To many others, this only reinforces what we’ve already known: that cops exist in our community to harass, intimidate, and control us. And this string of police shootings in Salinas is nothing new, nor isolated. It is part of a growing trend of police violence that exists around the United States.

What’s more, if the two armed thugs had been young Latino men without badges, the Law and Order elements who defend the cop-murderers would cry out for the need for more snitching, surveillance, and policing. This is not to simply expose the hypocrisy of the cops and their allies, but to show that calls for increasing “public safety” actually put many of us at more risk. More cameras, more police on the streets, more powerful weapons and vehicles. These things only increase the chances of violent encounters between police and civilians. And the militarization of police goes hand-in-hand with an expanding prison system. Jails, prisons, and immigrant detention centers are built more frequently or they are expanded. This violence and incarceration disproportionately targets the homeless, people of color, and immigrants.

All of these processes are happening right here in the Salinas valley. From the King City car thefts, to the Monterey County Jail expansion, to these recent police murders.

We stand with the victims’ friends and families. We stand with the communities that experience police intimidation and violence on a daily basis. We stand with anyone who is willing to speak up and act to truly make our communities safer. We must start by recognizing who the real threats are: the police.

-Direct Action Monterey Network
centralcoastdirectaction [at]
Screenshot from the video from the Salinas police shooting. May 20, 2014.
§Police killing of 44-year-old Carlos Mejia caught on video
by video here Thursday May 22nd, 2014 11:10 AM
Copy the code below to embed this movie into a web page:
Curtis McHenry:

Officer Involved Shooting - Salinas, CA 05/20/2014


Monterey Herald:

Salinas police Cmdr. Vince Maiorana: "this individual pulled the gardening shears and actually attacked the officers with the gardening shears."


Is that what YOU see in the video at one minute in???

Fucking liars!

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Circle A
Wednesday May 21st, 2014 11:17 PM
Is there a link to the video? The mainstream media is not playing the video you mention. At least not tonight as protests have escalated. I am late to the story. I came here looking for more info.

I hope activists on the ground are video taping. Stay safe. Remain non violent but stand your ground.

by Youtube
Wednesday May 21st, 2014 11:58 PM
Officer Involved Shooting (Full Video) - Salinas, CA 05/20/2014
by Circle A
Thursday May 22nd, 2014 1:23 AM
Thanks for the link... It was horrifying. But I needed to see it.

I understand very well now what the anger is about. I have seen many acts of violence by police before, still, I am shocked, saddened, and angered. This is so brutal, so unnecessary, it's hard to fathom or imagine what the cops were thinking. There is no justification for what I just saw. This is murder by police.
by Mad as hell
Thursday May 22nd, 2014 2:11 AM
The police seem to just be another gang. One with allot of power.

From the reports in the mainstream news and the video. It seems obvious to me this man was not in his right mind. Anyone facing those police in their right mind would have been on the ground , and fast. He was obviously unable to think rationally. He seemed more frightened extremely dangerous. Meaning it did not seem as though the police offices lives were in any immediate danger. How long will these police be on administrative paid leave while they are investigated by their own department?? And although a possible one time attempt at using a taser can be seen or heard, or what seems to be that when you here a small pop at the beginning of the video. The officers seemed pretty far away at that moment to taser someone effectively.
And why did they only try once? And why did they have to shoot him multiple times? I never saw him wildly swinging the shears as reported. Why not pepper spray him and use a dog, even throw a blanked over him. Shoot him with a tranquilizer dart for fucks sake. In this day and age it seems we would have the technology and trained officers to take down someone non lethally as we can animals.

Although I know abuse with tasers is rampant, sometimes deadly, it just shows the systemic issues of our police. Non lethal methods used by a police force truly serving the peoples best interests is something that I believe beats being shot to death. There are so many ways this could have been handled in a non lethal way. This is unacceptable. I remember the slogan. " the Men in Blue are good to you" taught to children. Now its should be. "Guns dont kill people police do."

This is unacceptable.
by Curd, Galindo & Smith, LLP
Thursday May 22nd, 2014 3:54 PM
Here is an example of Salinas PD misconduct from 2011:

"The City of Salinas announced on October 19, 2010, that under the terms of the settlement, without any
admission of liability, the city will pay Maria Irma Dela Torre’smother $1.6 million and her husband, Jose
Maximiano Licea Abarca, will receive $525,000."

"The complaint alleges that Maria Irma Dela Torre who suffered from epilepsy had just had a seizure and had
locked herself in her sister’s minivan. Dela Torre seemed disorientated and was trying to start the minivan with
a penny as if it were a key. The lawsuit further contends that the police ordered her to come out and that Officer
Robert Balaoro told Officer Mattocks that he was going to taser her when she came out. Court documents show
that she complied with the order and was tased by Officer Balaoro and at the same time Officer Steven Mattock
shot her twice in the back killing her at the scene. Court documents alleged that Police Officers at the scene
thought that Maria Irma Dela Torre lunged at officers Steve Mattocks and Robert Balaoro with a metal crochet
hook. The officers testified at deposition under oath that they mistook the crochet hook for an ice pick or knife,
and as a result Officer Mattocks, in an effort to protect his partner shot her two times, killing her. The complaint
indicated that Officer Balaoro used a Taser on De La Torre, hitting her with probes."
Thursday May 22nd, 2014 4:20 PM
KSBW obtained a video from a different angle that captures some of the killing:

May 20, 2014 Salinas police shooting
by via KSBW (LIARS, BTW)
Tuesday May 27th, 2014 11:13 AM
MAY 21, 2014: This is 23-year-old Constantino Garcia. The fieldworker walked outside of his house on Del Monte Avenue to find out why a riot was happening, his family said. He was shot multiple times by an unknown gunman and died at a hospital. The gunman used chaos created by the riot to flee the area.
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