Pomona Police Department accused of violating free speech

POMONA — The city of Pomona and its police department are in the hot seat after a federal lawsuit was filed against the city in U.S. Central District Court last week.

During an August 2008 community meeting in on sobriety checkpoints, members of the public and off-duty police officers got into a war of words and heated debate.

In May 2008, a sobriety checkpoint held in a predominantly Latino neighborhood angered members of the community and prompted a protest during the August 2008 meeting. Participants claimed the sobriety checkpoint targeted Latinos.

Attendees of the meeting accused the off-duty police officers of threats and intimidation; some residents felt uncomfortable and left the meeting, which led to the federal lawsuit.

The suit claims the city of Pomona infringed on the plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights to assembly, free speech to redress grievances, and the exercise of religious freedom.

According to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, “Plaintiff and coalition member Angela Sanbrano said the outbursts prompted many attendees to leave.”

The plaintiffs include 50 people involved with the Pomona Habala / Pomona Speaks Coalition, retired Pomona Police Chief Joe Romero and 24 others.

Pomona Police Department accused of violating free speech was last modified: June 1st, 2012 by admin
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