Escondido Gets Large Turn Out in Support for Driver License Checkpoints

On Thursday, April 15th, a large crowd of supporters gathered in front of the Escondido City Hall building in support of the Driver License checkpoints that the Escondido police department has continuously conducted for the past six years.

More than a 150 people showed, lead by Patricia Bennett, in support of the traffic checkpoints. In contrast this support for the checkpoints and for Police Chief Jim Maher, who has been pressured to remove the traffic checkpoints or resign, the protest against the traffic checkpoints was three times smaller. What does this say about the cities feelings towards the checkpoints and the Police Chief as cars passing by drew honks and cheers? However, what’s poplar doesn’t always equate with justice!

These traffic checkpoints are a very controversial issue in Escondido and possible other neighboring cities who might start to adopt same or similar policy changes. Simply, are the traffic checkpoints conducted by the Escondido police department constitutional? I think not especially when every car is stopped and the driver interrogated by law enforcement about their drivers license. Supporter’s claim the checkpoint have lowered the hit and run cases by a third. But the one question remains, are these checkpoints specifically targeting low income area’s where Latinos are being targeted? If so, then theses checkpoints need to be reformed immediately or changed in the way they are conducted to meet all constitutional requirements.

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ESCONDIDO: Rally supporting police, checkpoints draws more than 150, North County Times April 15th