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Organizers Expect High Turnout to 'Solidarity March' for Beaumont Pepper Spray Victim

The event is set for Saturday, June 2, beginning at noon at Rangel Park in Beaumont.

Hundreds of people-- perhaps even a thousand-- are expected to join in on a "solidarity march" in support of a woman allegedly blinded in a DUI stop by a Beaumont police officer, organizers said this week.

Monique Hernandez, 31, suffered severe eye trauma as a result of a high-powered pepper spray device used on her by an officer arresting her on suspicion of DUI on Feb. 21, according to the Riverside County District Attorney's office.

Even though that police officer, Enoch Clark, is being prosecuted by the district attorney's office on assault charges, Hernandez has retained a private attorney to represent her.  That attorney, Milton Grimes, is one of those scheduled to speak at the solidarity march, and told Banning-Beaumont Patch on Tuesday that he was hoping for a thousand people or more to show up to the event.

On June 2, to first listen to the guest speakers before heading out on the mile-long walk to Beaumont Civic Center at 2 p.m.

"We are coming together in our Solidarity March to send a clear message, this type of actions will not be tolerated in our community by law enforcement and to send a message to our Riverside County District Attorney, no plea bargains, we want a jury to decide this case," organizer Victor Dominguez said.

Dominguez said that he and the Hernandez family have seen "overwhelming" support from the community for the march.

"We understand this a criminal action done by One Beaumont Police Officer and not the Beaumont Police Department," he said.  "Our local law enforcement does a wonderful job keeping our families safe, however Officer Clark will stand trial and we expect the maximum punishment to be sentenced if and when he is proven guilty in court."

Rangel Park is located at 4th and B Street, in the area also known as the Historic Barrio Railroad District.

Carla June 01, 2012 at 09:44 PM
This walk is absolutely ridiculous as the officer has not had his day in court yet.
Damchi June 01, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Thousands of people? There will be more people showing up at the Annual 4th of July Coyote Softball Tournament in Rangel Park than this gathering at the park. Most people have better things to do on the 1st weekend of summer school break.
concerned citizen June 02, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Exactly, Juan. "Guest speakers? what a joke.
concerned citizen June 02, 2012 at 02:40 AM
Good one, Juan!
Lance Sanchez June 02, 2012 at 05:18 AM
You've got to be kidding me? This woman deserves NO support. I understand the officer might have used excessive and unnecessary force but she was the one who decided to act like an idiot and put herself AND others at risk on the road. If she would've hurt someone while driving intoxicated, she would have had worse issues. Beaumont Police are admirable and I fully support their actions.

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