By Roberto Herrera
Earlier this morning we received a call to the OC Rapid Response Network Hotline. There were two armored vehicles (tanks) that came into a Santa Ana neighborhood to make a targeted arrest.
I went to the address to verify if an arrest occurred and can confirm that 1 arrest occurred. Based on photos we confirmed Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) was on the scene including OC Sheriff’s Dept and possibly SWAT. It looks like a joint task force effort. Needless to say, an excessive use of force was detailed. 20 + officers showed up to make the arrest and used weapons with lasers. They demanded the family step out because they had a warrant and if they didn’t they were going to “take other measures” to get in. Doors were broken into, most of the family members were handcuffed excluding a young child and a pregnant woman. The family and neighborhood was terrorized this morning.
We are still waiting to conduct a full intake to see what exactly happened. When I approached the home, family members didn’t want to conduct the intake there and preferred over the phone. We have called them and conducted a brief intake but they preferred we call them back tomorrow. We’ll try again and offer our support as the OC Rapid Response Network.
I am saddened and angry by what has occurred. The Department of Homeland Security has been out of hand and with the recent activism to defend black life – the Trump administration has tapped into ICE and other law enforcement agencies to dull out full resources to suppress calls for accountability. This is a clear example of these excessive uses of force. This should not be normal. This is state-sanctioned violence happening in Orange County.
The OC Rapid Response Network will take the appropriate steps to make sure these agencies are held accountable. Local elected officials in Orange County need to speak up!!!! We are fed up!!!! We are angry!!!! Take Action. Now!!!!
- To Cities in Orange County – defund your police departments. Too many of them have been militarized and bringing war-like tactics to the homefront.
- To the Orange County Board of Supervisors – hold the damn Orange County Sheriff’s Department accountable and complicity in conspiring with ICE. End all transfers to ICE and end ICE access to our county jail. You have failed simple oversight for the past two years during the Truth Act Forum.
- To State elected Officials – call on Governor Newsom to exercise his power to close down the Adelanto Immigrant Detention facility. Quit playing games. He has the power to do this, especially during this pandemic.
- To Congressional members – stop expanding the budget of ICE and DHS. You are funding terror and it’s having an impact in Orange County. Hold congressional hearings on these excessive uses of force. Openly call out ICE and their leadership. “Blue wave” ain’t nothing when you all recede when acts like these happen. Step up to the plate.
To the community, know that we are here to help and that we love and appreciate you. You are a part of the community and no one is disposable. While our elected officials have failed to take actionable steps, community groups have stepped it up to fill that vacuum of leadership. Let’s continue building community power until all these oppressive systems are transformed.
If you see ICE in Orange County, please call the OC Rapid Response Network Hotline (714) 881-1558. We’re here to help. We have printed 7,000 business cards in English and Spanish. Email me to pick some up to distribute. Thank you so much.
Roberto Herrera is a member of the Orange County Rapid Response Network and Director of Community Engagement with Resilience Orange County. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.