Two California lawmakers are questioning whether racial bias played a factor in the decision to shut down major highway off ramps into downtown San Jose during Cinco de Mayo weekend celebrations.
10 off ramps across the city are closed for the weekend. Some of the off-ramp closures include the Julian Street offramp off northbound Highway 87 and the Mckee exit off Highway 101.
On Saturday, state senator Dave Cortese and state assemblyman Ash Kalra issued a joint statement questioning the move.
“Normal traffic controls are one thing – but shutting down major highway access on the pretense of fear of multicultural celebrations of Cinco de Mayo is racist targeting, and blatantly unconstitutional as it violates first amendment rights to freedom of assembly,” the two lawmakers said in a joint statement.
Kalra is now calling on Caltrans to explain why the ramps are shut down.
NBC Bay Area reached out to Caltrans for comment but have not received a response.
In a statement Friday announcing the closures, San Jose police said while the majority of people who visit downtown San Jose during Cinco de Mayo are law-abiding, the celebration has also historically attracted individuals that have been responsible for various crimes, including vandalism and side shows.
Source: NBC Bay Area
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