Editor's note: We received this dispatch from a person who wishes to remain anonymous. Their previous dispatches from the two earlier Department of Justice public meetings can be found here.
The so called "war zone" showed they know how to organize a meeting and keep order as the DOJ passed out numbers for people to wait in line to tell their stories in private with top DOJ officials who sat in another room. Women from the Peace and Justice Center - Maria Bautista & Dinah Vargas took the lead in keeping order. About a hundred people at the Cesar Chavez community center gathered to meet with the DOJ tonight. Compared to the meetings at Alamosa & Palo Duro Centers the crowd was patient and peaceful. Like the Palo Duro meeting a person did get up and screamed and yelled about her experiences but people present passed it off as a "plant" from the police designed to disrupt and agitate. The crowd did grow hostile as they angrily discounted the presentation of APOA Union President Stephanie Lopez as she argued that police have difficult jobs and should be given leeway. She did the same at Palo Duro and received a similar rebuff. We wonder why the administration thinks sending their consultant Greenwood, and now Lopez, will do anything more that anger people. Lopez' audience was people who had bad personal experiences with policemen. There was rumbling in the back of the room about the inappropriateness of her being there to make a case for good cops to people who have experienced the worst from the police. Rey Garduno and Ken Sanchez were in the audience. Victim parents Mike Gomez and Kenneth Ellis were also present. The DOJ will conduct private meetings with police and neighborhood associations to end the week. The DOJ report released April 10 was terrific and met our expectations. It causes us to give DOJ the benefit of the doubt when it comes to assessing their communications problems and their frustrating procedures in these public meetings.