On Dec. 26, activist Motecuzoma Sanchez received a $300 ticket for an expired registration on his car, which was parked in a private driveway in Stockton, California. Tickets for that offense can only be issued when the vehicle is on public property and now an investigation has been launched into whether or not Sanchez was ticketed in retaliation for an argument with other Facebook users who were reportedly local police officers.
Sanchez, who ran for a local office unsuccessfully, is a longtime critic of the Stockton Police Department.Though it’s unclear what the Facebook argument was about, one of the officers involved resorted to name-calling, The Record reported. At the time, Sanchez wrote on Facebook that he would file a complaint, but he was issued the ticket before he could.
“That immediately led me to suspect that, in fact, I was being targeted,” he told FOX 40.
Officer Aaron Adams, the four-year veteran of the police department who issued the ticket, has been placed on paid suspension. The ticket has since been dismissed.
Speaking to The Record, Sanchez explained that he wasn’t upset about the ticket.
“The main issue to me is the retaliatory message it represents … a veiled threat saying, ‘Hey, we know where you live,’” he said.
Despite his previous criticism of the police department, Sanchez is happy that the matter is under investigation.
“This is the first time I’ve ever seen (a complaint) taken seriously to the degree I feel all complaints should be taken,” he said.
“An allegation of this type is serious in nature and is not what the Stockton Police Department is about," the police department said in a statement. "If an allegation like this is proven true, very significant action would take place."