June 27, 2019 Police Incident in Chicano Park

DATE: July 12, 2019

TO: Chief David Nisleit, San Diego Police Department

FROM: Councilmember Vivian Moreno

SUBJECT: June 27, 2019 Police Incident in Chicano Park (Print Memo)

Chicano Park, located in San Diego’s historic neighborhood of Barrio Logan, has long been a symbol of the U.S. Chicano movement, and a testament to the success of nonviolent protests. The park was established in 1970, amid heightening tensions between the community and public agencies which sought to disenfranchise residents from decision-making processes. Many of the same struggles that the founders of the park faced 50 years ago persist today, and the community-based leadership of Chicano Park continues to work hard to ensure positive progress on these issues.

On Thursday, June 27, 2019, a vehicle was pulled over by San Diego Police Department (SDPD) Officers in Chicano Park. What should have been a routine traffic stop turned into a verbal and physical altercation, and two community members were arrested while filming the incident. One of them, Chicano Park Steering Committee member Eddie Alvarez, was struck nine times by an officer attempting to handcuff him.

This incident is yet another in a growing list of violent altercations that have occurred in Chicano Park, which is alarming. In fact, in the cell phone footage that has now gone viral, children can be seen playing in the park while Mr. Alvarez was being struck by a police officer. This behavior is unacceptable, and as Councilmember of the community of Barrio Logan, I call for an end to violence, as well as the start of a peace-building and healing process.

After reviewing footage of this incident, it is clear that greater transparency is needed. In order to ascertain the facts and prevent future incidents, I request the following actions from SDPD:

  1. SDPD formally respond to the attached statement from the Chicano Park Steering Committee, and provide answers to the questions they posed;
  2. In compliance with Assembly Bill 748, that SDPD release the body camera footage of all officers involved in this traffic stop within 45 days;
  3. SDPD present a report on how de-escalation and cultural sensitivity training will be implemented within the Police Department at the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee within the next 90 days.

Thank you in advance for your prompt response and your assistance with this matter.

Honorable Council President Georgette Gomez
Honorable Councilmember Monica Montgomery, Chair, Public Safety & Livable Neighborhoods Committee
Honorable Mayor Kevin Faulconer

See attached statement from the Chicano Park Steering Committee here.


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