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.