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Escondido Settles Lawsuit Over Checkpoint Monitors

Aired 10/25/12 on KPBS News.

After ACLU lawsuit, Escondido agrees not to disperse protesters who stake out public sidewalks to record police conducting checkpoints.

This image captured from a Youtube video shows Police conducting a checkpoint in Escondido in July 2010.
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Above: This image captured from a Youtube video shows Police conducting a checkpoint in Escondido in July 2010.

— The City of Escondido has agreed not to interfere with immigrant rights protesters who stake out public sidewalks to record law enforcement officers while they conduct the city’s controversial driver's license and sobriety checkpoints.

The ACLU, which sued Escondido, announced a court settlement Thursday. Under the settlement, protesters who stake out public sidewalks to observe and record officers while they conduct the checkpoints will be allowed to do so as long as they stay outside of the immediate area where checkpoints are being conducted.

The checkpoints have been highly controversial in Escondido, because activists have accused law enforcement officers of targeting Latinos and undocumented immigrants.

In a statement, the ACLU said the settlement will protect people’s First Amendment rights to assemble and monitor the officers’ actions.

The ACLU also sued the California Highway Patrol, which participates in the checkpoints and has justified dispersing protesters in the interest of public safety. The CHP has not agreed to a settlement, so that lawsuit is still ongoing.

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