Carlos Montes speaks on resignation of LA Sheriff Baca
Los Angeles, CA – “Sheriff Baca led a reign of terror on immigrants, especially against Mexican and Latinos,” states veteran Chicano leader Carlos Montes. Baca made the public announcement Jan. 7 that he would be stepping down as the head of the largest sheriff department in the U.S. “He believed that undocumented people did not have any civil rights,” said Montes.
Baca was a strong proponent of SCOMM, which goes by the name ‘Secure Communities.’ This is the program where Immigration Custom Enforcement (ICE) joins up with local police. It attacks poor and working class immigrants, mostly Mexican and Central American, who are caught up in traffic or other minor infractions. Montes said, “His L.A. County jails detained and deported, along with ICE, more people than the notorious Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.”
Baca helped implement the sheriff and police checkpoints that led to undocumented people without drivers licenses having their cars taken to the 30-day car impound lots. Many never get their vehicles back.
At the time of his resignation, Baca was under intense fire for the systematic brutality carried out by L.A. Sheriff’s Department. “He supported deputies who shot and killed Black and Chicano youth. He allowed his deputies at the L.A. County jails to use violence and terror on prisoners awaiting trials,” said Montes
Speaking on the future of the L.A. Sheriff Department without Baca, Montes stated, “The racism and violence of the L.A. County sheriffs will continue.” And so would the struggle for justice.