Santa Ana PD: Stop Operation Black Rhino and Townsend Raids! PROTEST 11/11.




Timely press release from our amigxs in Chicanxs Unidxs:


WHO/WHAT:  Families who live in Santa Ana’s Townsend community and community organizations in support of them.

WHEN:  Monday Nov 11 (Veterans Day) at 4:30 pm.

WHERE:  810 S. Townsend St, Santa Ana.


On November 7, 2019, the Santa Ana Police Department, along with the FBI, Orange County Probation, and other federal agencies, conducted “Operation Black Rhino” at 3:30 am.  They arrived in the middle of the night with military gear, they threw sound bombs, they shouted out the names and addresses of those they were targeting.  This was the second such raid in three months:  on August 21 similar tactics were used.

Families gathered after the raid and shared their fears as they and their children were experiencing painful memories of the raid, nightmares, flashbacks of loud noises or seeing police, and feeling jumpy or startled.  Some children have been fearful of separating from their parents and missed school.  Parents have asked how they could help their children feel more at ease, as they begin to feel the world is an unsafe place.

Townsend is a dense community that houses hundreds of children.  Many of the families live in tight quarters because it’s the only place they can afford.  Families rely on each other for survival.  They are aware that police and probation have their duties;  however they are asking for these raids to stop as they are only causing more trauma and stress to an already struggling community.  They believe that enforcement can occur through probation raids and searches, and that  military-style tactics are not needed.

Operation Black Rhino is one of many such operations in  Orange County recently.  Local law enforcement joins federal agencies to investigate and plan out raids.  These operations are costly – often over a million dollars – and have short-term results at best.  Many of the people arrested are often released shortly thereafter, and most convictions are for minor probation violations.  What was shown in SAPD’s promotional video was misleading.

Despite SAPD claims, none of the arrest made were for any serious crimes – the most serious was possession of an automatic weapon by a person outside the neighborhood with no connection to the neighborhood – and the other guns shown in the video, as well as most of the drugs and money, were from previous arrests and raids.  Many of the alleged gang members whose pictures were featured on the news to justify the raid were already in jail.  One father was arrested for not reporting to his probation officer because his wife is pregnant and had a doctor’s appointment, and he had notified his PO before the appointment!  

Townsend families have begun to organize, with a meeting Saturday Nov 9, to talk about the effects of these raids.  They made flyers and posters, and scheduled a rally and march for this afternoon.  Yesterday (Sunday) they walked the neighborhood and posted flyers, and it was later discovered that the Santa Ana gang unit has been removing these flyers.  They are asking that these raids stop.  They want police to stop interrogating and searching their 11 & 12-year olds without parental consent.  They want community organizations including nonprofits and the Santa Ana School District to address the trauma that is created by raids like this, and to be committed to trauma-informed care even when it involves law enforcement. 

They, and we, want to know how much Operation Black Rhino cost taxpayers.

They, and we, want actual true numbers of people who were arrested, their names, charges, and what evidence was gathered against them at the raid.

They, and we, want law enforcement to be done in a way that does not instill more trauma.


About Zorro

Yes, Zorro is gay. Zorro is gay in San Francisco, black in South Africa, an Asian in Europe, a Chicano in San Ysidro, an anarchist in Spain, a Palestinian in Israel, a Mayan Indian in the streets of San Cristobal, a Jew in Germany, a Gypsy in Poland, a Mohawk in Quebec, a pacifist in Bosnia, a single woman on the Metro at 10pm, a peasant without land, a gang member in Santa Ana, an unemployed worker, an unhappy student and, of course, a good government advocate in Anaheim. Zorro is all the exploited, marginalized, oppressed minorities resisting and saying `Enough'. He or she is every minority who is now beginning to speak and every majority that must shut up and listen. He or she is every untolerated group searching for a way to speak. Everything that makes power and the good consciences of those in power uncomfortable -- this is Zorro.