Santa Ana's Bristol Street Easter Cruise Over?

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As a former cruise passenger on E Street in San Bernardino--because I didn't have a car and there was absolutely nothing else to do in San Berdoo--I find it disturbing that no one's invited me to the Bristol Street cruises in Santa Ana each Easter night.

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A Quick History of the Blunder-Happy Santa Ana School Police Force at Center of Controversial Video

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Last week's viral video showing a Santa Ana school cop restraining a teen tagger with what witnesses described as a chokehold wasn't the first embarrassing moment for the department. They've been caught on film before and seem to be as adverse to cameras as vampires are to sunlight!

A juvenile court date for the kid and completion of an internal investigation by the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) Police Department await this week.

In the meantime, the Weekly compiled a short list of their best impressions of Reno 911!

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Mother of Son Arrested by Santa Ana School Cop Says Viral Video Shows 'Abuse of Power' UPDATE

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Gabriel San Roman / OC Weekly
Griselda Lopez (left) with Elvia Fernandez who filmed the rough arrest of her son
See bottom of the post on page 2 for update with SAUSD Police Chief.

ORIGINAL POST, APRIL 11, 12:26 P.M.: On the fourth floor of the Lamoreaux Justice Center in Orange, Griselda Lopez waited with her son for his case to be called. The cherubic 14 year-old is at the center of a viral video first reported by the Weekly showing his rough arrest by a Santa Ana school cop at Adams Park. Elvia Fernandez joined Lopez and her son earlier this morning. She filmed the encounter and came to support Lopez, a single mother, so that the woman wouldn't be alone.

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Santa Ana School Cop Puts Crying Boy in Chokehold, Tells Witnesses "Stop Speaking Spanish!" (VIDEO): UPDATE

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Cop on top of kid
See the bottom of the post on page 2 and 3 for the latest updates!

ORIGINAL POST, APRIL 9, 7:03 A.M.: A Santa Ana School Police Department officer is at the center of controversy after someone filmed him putting a young boy in a chokehold. The incident occurred shortly after 10 a.m. yesterday at Adams Park, on the corner of Warner Avenue and Raitt Street.

In the clip, we see a man at the park yelling "You're choking him" at an officer as a motionless boy screams "Help me! Help me!" Though filmed from a distance and on a smartphone, the video clearly captures a cop lying on top of a sobbing child kid, whose tiny arms are prone on the ground. The cop's arm is around the boy's neck, as he yells "Stop fighting me," only to have the boy scream in pain, "I'm not fighting you!"

See also: Memorial Shrines for Victims of Police Violence in Anaheim


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Orange PD Harass Son of Legendary Chicano Artist Emigdio Vasquez While He Restored His Father's Mural

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Photo by Aimee Murillo
Higgy Vasquez, at his dad's mural
Just when we thought we would never have to report again about legendary Chicano artist Emigdio Vasquez's public art getting tarred and feathered, here come those culture Cossacks known as the Orange Police Department--again.

Last week, visual artist Emigdio "Higgy" Vasquez was restoring one of his father's murals on Cypress Street at the request of Chapman University. The mural--on an apartment owned by Chapman that Emigdio originally painted in 1979--is titled "Tribute to the Chicano Working Class" and consists of a grand portrait of figures from Mexican history juxtaposed in chronological order to end with contemporary working-class families (some of the latter group modeled after people Emigdio knew in real life). After thirty-plus years, the mural had started to show some serious wear, so Chapman approached Higgy in October to restore it, as Emigdio is in poor health.

The restoration process had been mostly uneventful, with community members and even police officers complimenting the mural's progress from behind a makeshift fence that Higgy had erected. But that changed last Friday, when an Orange PD officer walked past the fence without permission and not bothering to identify himself. When Higgy asked "Can I help you?", the chota merely brushed him off and responded with something to the effect of "Relax, I'm friendly."

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Bike Safety Forum Rolls With Santa Ana Cycling Community

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Aimee Murillo / OC Weekly
Parks and Rec Director Gerardo Mouet leads discussion on bike safety
A comprehensive bike safety program may be in the cards for Santa Ana. This follows Saturday's bike safety forum at the Santa Ana Public Library that culled together ideas from the community on developing a customized plan to ensure cyclists and commuters a safer means to coexist on the road, and how to improve the experience of cycling in the city.

Brought together by intern and UCI undergrad student Michelle Yonemoto, along with the Santa Ana Parks and Rec and Santa Ana councilwoman Michelle Martinez, participants were greeted with snacks, while Health Care Agency workers Ana Merk and Jennifer Lee gave away free helmets to cyclists under 18.

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Santora Building Studios Torn Down After Artists Evictions

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Wiki Commons

See update on Page 2 about the walls of the Santora building being torn down.

ORIGINAL POST, January 31, 8:00A.M.:It's hard to say when the beginning of the end for the Santora building started. It could have been a couple years ago, when news of the possibility of Newsong Church buying out the building threatened the cultural vitality of the artists, or when the contract agreement that guaranteed at least 80 percent of the building be dedicated to the arts ended in 2011, bringing in more non-art tenants like law offices within its walls. For those not closely paying attention to the ownership issues, things definitely must have gotten real when the mural adorning the walls of the Santora building's basement was painted completely over in white, an ominous sign of what was yet to come.

Yesterday, news broke out that Studio El Sotano and Green Door Gallery, longtime tenants of the Santora building, have been given eviction notice to leave from the ownership. Matt Southgate, owner of the Studio El Sotano space, in an email forwarded to The Weekly states that he was not delinquent in rent payments nor given the opportunity to discuss alternate lease options.


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Gustavo's Latest KCRW "Orange County Line": On Santa Ana Trying to Tell the World It's Safe After Kim Pham's Murder

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Kim's killers are still at large; please call the above numbers with any info
The strangest reaction so far to the Kim Pham killing happened at a press conference last week, when Santa Ana Police Department Chief Carlos Rojas and Mayor-for-Life Don Papi Pulido both took time out from a murder investigation to tell the world that the city's downtown is safe. Pretty damn callous to care about a city's reputation in the middle of such a tragedy, ¿qué no?

But while I don't agree with their timing, I do agree with the sentiment--and, more than anything, I completely understand where they're coming from. That was the subject of my KCRW-FM 89.9 "Orange County Line" commentary yesterday.

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Rally TONIGHT for Kim Pham in Santa Ana; Westminster Mayor Tri Ta Scheduled to Attend

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Once again, if you have any information, please call THESE NUMBERS: 714-245-8390 or 855-847-6227

There will be a peaceful rally in remembrance of Kim Pham, the bright young woman who was senselessly and brutally beaten and killed in Santa Ana last weekend, TONIGHT at 8 p.m. outside the Crosby, according to a post on the Justice for Kim Pham Facebook Page by one Tam Dinh.

"The Vietnamese American community stands united in this senseless tragedy," Dinh wrote. "We need to have compassion, community, and communication as we all heal and demand justice for Kim!"

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Was Kim Pham Beat to Death for Accidentally Photobombing Attackers? UPDATE

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Scroll to the top of Page 3 for the latest updates...

ORIGINAL POST, JAN. 19, 6 P.M.: Early Saturday morning, a brutal beating outside the Crosby in downtown Santa Ana left a woman in what news reports only described as "extremely critical condition." This afternoon, family and friends of the 23-year-old woman (who the Weekly isn't identifying at the time, per the request of her loved ones) gathered outside the Crosby to create a memorial on an electric box near where she was left unconscious, leaving flowers and poster boards that implored any witnesses to step forward.

And they bore terrible news: the young woman had passed away from her injuries.

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