A community group in inland Los Angeles has announced a second lawsuit stemming from an incident where it claims plain clothed, off-duty police officers violated people’s civil and constitutional rights. The Pomona Speaks Coalition says about 20 members of the Pomona Police Department arrived at a local church in August, 2008 where the coalition held a meeting to discuss checkpoints and police misconduct. Several officers engaged in a shouting match with audience members which led to numerous verbal confrontations.
The Pomona Police say its officers have a first amendment right to attend public meetings and voice their opinions, even within city limits. But Pomona immigrant rights activists say it was a concerted effort by the police officer’s union to intimidate and harass its opponents. Pacifica’s Ernesto Arce files this report from Pomona.