Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Just where are the traffic stops located?

I've discussed traffic stops before, but here's an interesting take on the issue from a week ago.

Police were conducting a safety checkpoint on Perris Boulevard just north of Alessandro Boulevard, screening for drunken or unlicensed drivers.

Several people, including [Moreno Valley school board member Victoria] Baca, were peacefully and lawfully protesting the checkpoint in a nearby parking lot, diverting motorists away from it...

Baca said she was protesting the traffic stop with the Moreno Valley Parents Association because people have complained to her that the checkpoints target the Hispanic community, and that police don't set them up in wealthier areas.

Valid point, if true, although one has to remember that checkpoints are usually set up in areas with large amounts of traffic. You aren't going to set up a checkpoint on a cul-de-sac (although you could set one up on the busy street nearby).

Unfortunately, Baca's involvement didn't end there:

According to police, a patrol car pulled over a vehicle before 10 p.m., and Baca decided to get involved in the situation....

She denied that she was interfering with a vehicle being pulled over when she was approached by a police officer. She said the officer asked for identification but all she had on her was a business card, so he left to get his supervisor.

A second officer approached and asked for ID, Baca said. When she told him she didn't have any, she said, "he jerked me around and began to twist my arm."

Officers arrested Baca on suspicion of resisting, delaying or obstructing a police officer, a misdemeanor charge....

More here.

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