Two weeks ago, Officer Cota, # 2845, pulled over a truck because the brake lights weren't working. He then checked that the driver had an expired license, but instead falsely charged him with a misdemeanor of not having a driver's license. By charging him with not having a driver's license, even though the driver had one, he attempted to store the vehicle in impound for thirty days. A kind Sargent reversed the officer and let the driver have his car back (thanks to an attorney who was outraged by the whole incident). For one day of storage, it still cost the driver $500, even though it was the city's own mistake. This is two weeks worth of rent for the family.
If the car had stayed in storage for thirty days, the towing fees would easily accrue to approximately $2,000 and outstrip the vehicle of the car. The City would take it from the poor owner and his family and sell it at auction. In short, the police are stealing vehicles from the poorest members of our community. It makes me question if these officers are receiving a personal benefit for doing so.
Last week, a similar incident happened, only the vehicle wasn't pulled over because of broken brake lights but because there was a crack in the windshield. A few months ago, another driver told me he was pulled over for a dirty license plate. Is having a dirty license plate a violation of the vehicle code?
It's clear that the Baldwin Park Police are bullying, targeting and discriminating against the Mexican poor, which is part of a larger scam. The local towing company, Royal Coaches, contributes greatly to all the politicians and the police officers, even their Police Association. On the condition of anonymity, an insider told me that Royal Coaches paid for a significant portion of the Police Association's printing costs at the Sheriff's printing press during the election because a direct donation would've looked suspect.
Because Royal Coaches greases everyone in town, the owner Jim Salazar, needs to collect. He states in a magazine article that he has Baldwin Park in his back pocket. It appears true.
So, this is what the police do. They see if the car fits a profile of belonging to a poorer person They find something, anything wrong - such as a dirty license plate, a broken taillight, or a crack in the windshield. Then, they see if the person is Latino or Latina. Then they pull over the vehicle. They hope the person is unlicensed. And when the driver is, bingo, they steal the car from the rightful owner.
Thus, coppers are patrolling the streets to target underprivileged Latinos for their cars. Shouldn't they be looking out for our safety instead? The violation is only more egregious that the police department claims to serve and protect it's members, when all it appears to do is steal, take, and falsely charge and arrest its own citizens. That's the scam people.