Dear Media and Friends,
This evening, starting at around 6:30pm, more than two dozen police were observed inside the fenced perimeter of the “Arena Footprint” in Duranguito practicing riot control.
Many of the officers wore full riot gear while others dressed in ordinary clothing, apparently pretending to be rioters. Others kept watch outside the fence.
They conducted mock street battles, complete with yelling and physical contact.
This video and the five attached photographs were shot between 7:00 and 8:00pm.
Paso del Sur told me they first observed police within the perimeter on September 1.
Needless to say, the presence of riot police in Duranguito has alarmed the neighborhood residents, who have vivid memories of September 12, 2017, when dozens of officers physically confronted them and their supporters while the City attempted to bulldoze the neighborhood.
On that day the 8th Court of Appeals stepped in, rescinded the demolition permits, and forced the City to desist. There have been injunctions against demolition ever since.
Why is the City again deploying riot police to Duranguito?
Are they expecting violence?
Is it possible they still believe the people of El Paso will tolerate the destruction of a historic barrio for a multipurpose basketball arena that would cost over a half-billion dollars?