Residents and lawmakers in San Jose are expressing their frustration and concern over the closure of freeway exits during the Cinco de Mayo weekend.
The decision to block certain ramps has drawn criticism from residents and lawmakers who believe there is racial bias in the traffic stops.
The closure of freeway exits to downtown San Jose was implemented by Caltrans with the aim of controlling traffic and preventing congestion in the area.
However, some city council members argue that this move constitutes racial profiling.
They believe that the closures and increased police presence disproportionately target individuals celebrating Mexican American culture.
Elected officials, including San Jose City Council members Omar Torrez, Sergio Jimenez, Peter Ortiz, and Domingo Candle, released a joint statement expressing their disappointment with the excessive law enforcement and road closures that are only enforced during Mexican American cultural celebrations.
They argue that such measures can only be described as profiling.
The closure of the freeway ramps during the Cinco de Mayo weekend has raised concerns among the community.
Some individuals feel that the restrictions and heightened police presence are unnecessary and unwelcoming.
They argue that no other cultural event in San Jose receives such scrutiny.
Members of the lowrider community, who consider cruising during Cinco de Mayo a cultural tradition, also expressed their disappointment.
Despite the ordinance permitting cruising, drivers were still stopped and prevented from enjoying this aspect of the celebration.
They perceive the closures as a lack of good faith towards their community.
While Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol, and the San Jose Police have cited public safety as the reason for the closures, critics argue that these actions perpetuate cultural and racial bias.
Senator Dave Cortese disagrees with this approach and believes that safety should not be based on assumptions or feelings of potential criminal activity.
The San Jose City Council members and Senator Cortese plan to assess the situation and reach out to relevant authorities to discuss the handling of the weekend’s events.
They aim to address the concerns raised by the community regarding the closures and police actions.
The news outlet reached out to the California Highway Patrol, Caltrans, and the San Jose Police for comments on the criticisms, but their responses are still pending.
San Jose police have stated that they will evaluate the number of arrests and tickets issued during the weekend.
Residents and lawmakers in San Jose are now seeking transparency and accountability in addressing the alleged racial bias and excessive measures taken during cultural celebrations.