Charge: harassment, unlawful detainment, racism, threats
Date: May 2004
Location: 900 block of 3rd St. Santa Cruz ( Beach Hill neighborhood)
Even though this happened long ago, it still bothers me to this day:Filed by: D. Jackson (contact available)
A friend (another white male in his 40's) and myself had walked from the Seabright area, across the trestle at the Boardwalk and through the Beach Flats neighborhood up to 3rd street, where we were stopped by Ofc. Azua and a female officer in training. After asking us if we "scored" while we were in the flats, to which I replied "No, we weren't looking for women or dope." Ofc. Azua asked us for our IDs and ran us for warrants.
I asked Azua what his probable cause was to detain us and he stated "Because you were walking through the flats." After seeing mine and my companion's ID's, he went on to ask us several questions about why we were in the flats when we lived nowhere nearby. I replied that we had walked from downtown over to Seabright to visit someone, and were returning.
Ofc. Azua advised us that we were the "wrong color" to be walking through the flats and if he saw either one of us in the flats again he would be happy to stop us and arrest us for "spitting on the sidewalk or jaywalking" or anything else he could "dream up."
I advised him that we were both natural born citizens of the United States and the city of Santa Cruz and that telling us that we could not have free movement around these environs was unconstitutional and illegal in this case [it is as if] marshal law had been in force.
Ofc. Azua advised us that he was the marshal law and he was not afraid to use force if his law was violated.