Feb 3 event. "The children in this community have been traumatized."
Some Barrio Logan and Logan Heights residents want answers from the San Diego Police Department for its handling of last month's Patriot Picnic protest at Chicano Park.
Co-founder of Chicano Park Josephine Talamantez presented those questions in a letter to new police chief David Nisleit.
Their concerns center on a February 3rd protest by a group known as the Bordertown Patriots. The Patriots believe that Chicano Park, its murals as well as the flying of the Aztlan Flag, discriminates against non-Hispanic people. Fifty or so members of the group gathered at Chicano Park to express their concerns.
Meanwhile, hundreds of others gathered on the other side. Many there for a educational tour of Chicano Park and others there to show their opposition to the Bordertown Patriots.
Other than a few arrests, one of which of a man who punched a police officer, the gathering was not violent. But some residents accuse the police department of having a double standard.
"It is my understanding that the San Diego Police Department acted very quickly to disarm the terrorist by allowing them to place their weapons and other paraphernalia back into their vehicles," reads a letter sent to Chief Nisleit. "Though I appreciate the [department] for their quick response to disarm them, if it had been Chicano/Latinos armed to do harm, their weapons would have been confiscated and they would have been arrested."
Furthermore, Talamantez says that the Patriot Picnic was more a white supremacist rally than a gathering of a patriotic picnickers.
Talamantez' group wants the city to explain why permits were issued, if they were issued.
In addition, the letter also objects to the response from the police department.
"It was shocking to see the Swat/Tactical Squad on the Coronado [Bridge] on-ramp with automatic high power assault rifles propped up against the rails of the bridge ready to fire upon us. Was that amount of armory called for and is that standard procedure? The children in this community have been traumatized by all of this and many fear for their lives."
In an email to the Reader, Talamantez says she met with police chief Nisleit on March 16 to talk about those concerns. The group is now drafting a formal response to be made public at a later date.