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Another LAPD checkpoint in El Sereno, second this month

Community protests!
By staff |
May 26, 2014
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Veteran Chicano activists at protest against police checkpoints.
Veteran Chicano activists at protest against police checkpoints that target the undocumented. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Los Angeles, CA - The El Sereno community in East Los Angeles came out to protest another police checkpoint May 24. Mexican, Chicano and Central American residents, most of whom are immigrants, challenged the second LAPD checkpoint in the area this month. Residents felt targeted by the LAPD Traffic Division as this checkpoint was on Huntington Drive, located in the heart of the community, near a major market.

On May 2, local residents and the Centro CSO protested a similar checkpoint (at Huntington and Poplar) and were successful in helping many residents avoid getting their car impounded, to the dismay of LAPD and the local Official Police Garage Association tow company. Members of the Official Police Garage Association reap millions in profits from car impounds and often make donations to local politicians.

In January 2015 the Department of Motor Vehicles will make California driver’s license available to the undocumented, and the millions of dollars generated by car impounds will dry up.

For years, the Community Service Organization (CSO) has pointed out that police target Mexican/Chicano communities, where the majority undocumented immigrants with no driver’s licenses as easy prey for car confiscations. Centro CSO, with many other organizations such as Hermandad Mexicana Latinoamerica, fought for California driver’s license for the undocumented for years. Now that licenses are finally coming, the police - especially the LA Sheriff’s Department in league with the Official Police Garage Association - are trying to make as much money as they can.