ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- A video made by activists challenging Escondido's policy of checking driver's licenses at a sobriety checkpoint shows police breaking the window of a car after the driver refuses to show his identification.
The driver, Angel Navarrete, and passenger Daniel Alfaro, who recorded the video, were both arrested for resisting a police officer. The video is evidence in the case against them and has been uploaded to youtub.com.
The seven-minute clip was recorded in February from inside the car and shows the men entering the checkpoint. As they pull up to an officer, the driver's window is open about two inches.
The following is a transcribed version of the beginning of the encounter with the officer:
Navarrete: "How you doing?"
Officer: "Can you roll your window down?"
Navarrete: "I can hear you just fine."
Officer: "No, no I want you to roll the window down."
Navarrete: "Why is that sir?"
Officer: "Because I'm going to break it if you don't open it."
Navarrete: "Then go ahead."
Officer: "I'm sorry?"
Navarrete: "Go ahead."
Officer #1: "Go ahead and break it?"
Navarrete: "It's up to you. Am I being detained or am I free to go?"
Officer: "You are not free to go."
Navarrete: "So am I being detained?"
Officer: "You are being detained."
In the video, both Navarrette and Alfaro repeatedly ask why they are being detained and request for the officer's name and badge number. During the exchange, officers explain several times that they are conducting a sobriety checkpoint and they order the men to roll down the window. Officers are also heard warning the driver to protect his face before they shatter the glass. After about four minutes into the video, officers smash the window and pull the broken pieces away from the car.
Attorney Victor Torres is representing Navarette and Alfaro. According to Torres, at the time of the incident Navarrete had a valid driver's license and was not intoxicated He said the men were within their constitutional rights in refusing to show identification at the sobriety checkpoint.
"The police officers made it a contest of wills," Torres said. "I was surprised that they actually broke the window. It's a pretty drastic measure."
The Escondido Police Department is not commenting on the incident because it is a pending case.
The charges against Navarrette and Alfaro are misdemeanors.