Chicano-police words lead to vandalism
Persons claiming ties to the Chicano Federation this week claimed responsibility for breaking a window out of the car of a Star-News reporter following publication of an article in Thursday's edition of the National City Star-News.
The article addressed current problems existing between the Federation and the National City police department, specifically referring to the presentation of complaints this week before the National City Council by Roberto Martinez of the Federation.
THE VANDALISM of the reporter's vehicle took place late Thursday afternoon and involved a telephone call from persons who stated they didn't want to see articles in print that might place the Federation or the individuals they claim to be representing placed in a "bad light."
The incident comes on top of repeated charges made by Martinez and the Federation that the police department practices continued harassment of Chicanos.
Capt. T. Wayne Fowler said this week that those allegation are "flagrantly false."
MARTINEZ, speaking to the council this week, stated that, "the objective of the National City police department is to beat our people into submission."
Fowler later responded.
"I'm at the point where I don't know if they are trying to solve a problem or create a problem," he stated. "I have found no case with excessive force."
In his comments, Fowler expressed the feeling that Martinez was either very naive or he had other goals in mind behind his actions.
"Mr. Martinez is either very, very gullible or he's wanting to be a party to false - and sometimes flagrantly false- statements."
IN ADDITION to other complaints, Martinez has continued to charge that the police department won't allow citizens to file complaints.
Fowler responded that the cost in man hours to investigate each complaint is about $500.
Sometimes the complaint stems from a simple misunderstanding that can be clearned up without a formal complaint, Fowler said. But he also made it clear that anyone who wants to pursue a complaint will not be discouraged from doing so.
"I promise you I will take prompt and firm action," he said. "We never want to discourage people from making complaints."