Video: Woman Tearfully Recounts Her Immigrant Mother's (Sober) Arrest at DUI Checkpoint
A woman tearfully described how her immigrant mother was arrested at a DUI checkpoint in Baldwin Park for driving without a license.
In this video posted on the Southern CA Immigration Coalition Facebook page, she talked about how the police booked her mother, who wasn't intoxicated, to verify her identity at the police station after she went through a DUI checkpoint on Dec. 28. Her mother didn't have a driver's license. "My mom, she broke the law because she's not from here, so they took her," the woman said.
A group of immigrant activists and family members gathered in front of the Baldwin Park P.D. on Sunday to protest how a sobriety checkpoint resulting in 37 arrests over the weekend became a crackdown on undocumented immigrants, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
The Baldwin Park P.D. announced that of the people arrested at the checkpoint that occurred between 6 p.m. on Saturday to 2 a.m. on Sunday, three were taken into custody for a DUI and three for non-DUI-related offenses. They haven't provided a full tally of the offenses yet. The Southern CA Immigration Coalition posted a video online of the protest on their Facebook page and one person mentioned how at least 20 of those arrested were handcuffed solely on the reason that they didn't have a valid driver's license, but that has not been confirmed yet.
The protesters questioned a police officer in front of the police department in this video:
The police argued that arresting the folks who were driving without a valid license was part of a new policy that limited what forms of ID would be accepted by local courts for misdemeanor citations. Therefore, the police would have to arrest them first at a police station to determine their identities before issuing a citiation.
This isn't the first time the Baldwin Park P.D. has faced controversy over its sobriety checkpoint practices. Baldwin Park Mayor Manuel Lozano ordered a suspension on all DUI checkpoints in the city in August 2010 in response to a major protest, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported. Over 300 people had gathered in front of City Hall in outrage over the checkpoints, in which some believe the police were profiling Latinos and making profit over illegally seizing vehicles. The city had made over $338,000 that fiscal year in vehicle release fees.