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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > San Bernardino County law enforcement carrying out gross miscarriage of justice against 18-year-old Mexican-American

San Bernardino County law enforcement carrying out gross miscarriage of justice against 18-year-old Mexican-American

LatinaLista — Mistaken identity, false police reports and vengeful neighbors are all elements that make a good mystery novel. But in this case, there is no mystery — only a sad story of a young Mexican American boy wrongfully jailed and a police department guilty of perpetuating an injustice.

Javier Andrés Rocha

Javier Andrés Rocha, 18-years-old, and his 28-year-old brother, Martin, resemble one another as brothers go but none could mistake the boys as twins, after all there is ten years difference between them. Yet, that isn’t making a difference to the boys’ neighbors, 60+-something-year-olds Nancy and David Stern.

In February, Nancy swore Javier assaulted her but in video tapes showing what happened, it wasn’t Javier and there was no assault on Nancy. What the tapes do show is Martin as the one in an altercation with Nancy and getting attacked by her. Martin, for reasons not clear to Latina Lista, was removing a tennis net that Nancy had strung across the end of her driveway.

In the video, Martin is seen removing the net. Text on the video explains that he hears Nancy, up at her house, getting upset with him for taking down the net. She allegedly is using racial slurs against him (there is no audio on the video). He decides to put back the net across the driveway but gets tangled up in the net. By this time, Nancy has come down to the driveway and according to the text, is still hurling racial slurs.

Martin gets mad and throws the net over to the side. He then tries to leave but Nancy grabs him and, in later pictures, we see where she has clawed him pretty good on the neck. After the incident, with Martin gone, Nancy claims to be having chest pains and is taken to the hospital. At the hospital she reports to the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department of San Bernardino County that she has been assaulted and she and her husband identify Javier as her assailant.

When the officers from the Sheriff’s Dept. of Lake Arrowhead pick up Javier, he vehemently denied the charges. In fact, Martin comes forward and takes responsibility for the altercation but the police refuse to believe him. Unbelievably, they slapped three misdemeanor charges — cause or allow harm to an elder or dependent adult, assault with a deadly weapon, not a firearm, and attempted theft of personal property — against Javier and throw him in jail with a bail originally set at $100,000 but now reduced to $75,000. Javier has been sitting in the San Bernardino County Central Detention Center for over a month now.

As should be expected, his family is in agony over his incarceration. The police refuse to admit their mistake or be accountable for the trumped up charges and continue to keep the 18-year-old in jail. There has been an outcry for his release but for some unknown reason the district attorney plans on pursuing the case.

Javier has plead not guilty. Though he was told he could be released if he did plead guilty, Javier refuses to be an accomplice to a lie and so remains in jail until his pre-trial process begins on March 16.

Can this really be happening in this day and age and in California of all states?

The sad truth is it can and is happening. Luckily for Javier, he has a very loving family who is determined to get this story of gross injustice out to the public. Imagine the other young boys who find themselves at the mercy of a justice system biased against them and no one to speak for them.

As Martin states in the video, the reason why they’re going to such lengths to tell Javier’s story is because if it happened to him, it can happen to anyone.

So true and if the police in this case can’t be trusted to do their job without bias then it’s the duty of everyone who still believes in our nation’s justice system to spread the word about Javier’s case and show a young boy that justice can prevail for everyone.

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Comment(8)

  • Carla Archuleta
    March 13, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    This is surely a violation of his civil rights and I hope some Civil Rights Attorney sets up and takes on this case pro bono just because its so wrong.

  • marmelgabe
    March 14, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Thank you for doing this, your story highlights Javier’s struggle as well as your journalism skills. Both my sister and I appreciate your efforts and his family does too.
     

  • reenee
    March 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Thank you so very much. I’m thrilled to see this story here. A press conference was held today highlighting this gross injustice that will helpfully pave the way for his release. That the district attorney is pursuing this meritless case does not speak well for him or the community. Makes me wonder exactly who is pulling the strings here.

  • PshThatOneGuy
    March 19, 2012 at 5:53 am

    @enrique1012 well, that’s san bernardino for ya!

  • enrique1012
    March 19, 2012 at 11:55 am

    @PshThatOneGuy I’m hoping Rim of the World Newspaper can have a new story. Their only story Feb4 says teen arrested for assaulting woman.

  • “Locked Up on False Charges:” The Case of Javier Andrés Rocha and His Brother’s Video Plea
    March 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    […] Latina Lista ran a follow-up to this story on March 13. Here is an excerpt of new developments: […]

  • reenee
    April 1, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Excellent post by my sister can be found at http://hastalosgatosquierenzapatos.blogspot.com/2012/04/javier-andres-rocha.html.

  • reenee
    April 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Javier was found “Not Guilty” today.

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