Human rights group opposes police checkpoints
Fri, 03 Feb 2012 01:04:48 GMT —
Maria Cordero is the coordinator for the group known as "Movimiento Del Valle Por Los Derechos Humanos" or Valley movement for human rights.
Thursday, she and several movement members gathered at Morningside Road in Brownsville, after reports that Brownsville Police had set-up a checkpoint, and a man had been detained by U.S.
Immigration Customs Enforcement as a result.
Members said a female passenger and two children were taken away in police units and their vehicle was towed.
Our group knows that what they're doing with these check points, is implementing a program that creates fear among community members and they don't want people to find out," Cordero said.
Brownsville Police confirmed there was a checkpoint set up shortly before noon in the area.
Spokesperson J.J. Trevio said checkpoints are set-up based on surveys that reveal problems in certain areas, ranging from speeding to unlicensed drivers.
He adds it could've been a number of reasons why ICE agents were called to pick-up at least one of the drivers stopped.
"If you have an individual that has no identification, Trevio said. We have the resources to contact ICE and have them run a check on that individual to see if anything does come up with their system."
Carmen Garcia lives at apartments near where the scene unfolded. She said she was saddened by Thursday TMs events.
"The lady looked very nervous, she was with her children, Garcia said.
And that's what made me sad, because we're human and it seems unjust."
Cordero alleges police also threatened to arrest her because she was taking pictures of the scene on her cell phone.
However, she claims she was doing so from across the street and not interfering with police work.
"He wanted to arrest me because he said I was obstructing justice, Cordero said.
But we know that under my constitutional right, that he can't take away my freedom of expression - it's the First Amendment."
Cordero said this incident proves how important immigration reform is in order to stop tearing families apart.
"It's a big problem and we need to take action in this matter," Cordero said.