This presidential election is bringing a record number of voters to early election polls and everyone is trying to get first dibs on undecided voters by campaigning in front of major places around town trying to sway their vote. One such place in Brownsville that everyone tries to setup camp is in the main library on Central Blvd, just drive past the library and notice the hoards of campaign posters. At sometime around 9am, city workers alerted the police department that people in castro’s campaign were violating updated city ordinance and that the law needed to be enforced. The police finally showed up a couple of minutes afterwards and told everyone on the library sidewalk that they could not be there due to city ordinance. Everyone that was campaigning followed orders and moved across the street except for one person, Erasmo Castro. Several witnesses describe Mr. Castro visibly upset and yelling very loud “You can’t arrest me, I’m on public property!”. The police officer in charge tried to calm Castro but he just kept shouting and failing to comply with orders at which point he called for backup and other officers arrived on scene. Castro’s own supporters complied with directions and walked across the street along with everyone else there. A full 30 minutes had passed from the time police arrived and Castro still had not moved, to his defense Castro yelled some more “I’m just going to walk, try to arrest me for walking” to which the police officers gave him the benefit of the doubt and watched as he circled back and forth in front of the main entrance of the library. Several minutes later, Erasmo exhausted from the few laps he went in circles stopped to catch his breathe to which finally an officer had enough of his charades cited him a warning.
The warning citation given to Erasmo states he was in violation of City Ordinance code Sec. 328-12 – Illegal Signs. Castro wasn’t holding any signs but he was holding a large flag with his name on it and that would be a form of an illegal sign or banner. A friend who works in code enforcement for the City emailed me the definition of this code to which it states below
Sec. 328-12. – Illegal signs.
The following types of signs are prohibited in all districts:
Banner, pennants, festoons, search lights (except as allowed in sections 328-09 and 328-10).
Signs imitating or resembling official traffic or government signs or signals.
Signs displayed upon any public property or within the right of way of any public use easement except for directional or warning signs placed by an authorized government agency.
Signs placed on vehicles, trailers, or easels, which are parked or located for the primary purpose of displaying, said sign.
So part (2) would be what Erasmo Castro was failing to comply with, since the big flag he was carrying is as a banner. Why Erasmo Castro thinks he’s above the law is beyond my comprehension. I did ask Laura Perez-Reyes, another candidate who is running for BISD School Board on what happened and she replied with the following, “The police came and asked everyone of us to move, so we moved.” Erasmo was then asked why he thinks all of this is happening, “….. I think the system is rigged against me?” he responded. I personally don’t think the city is conspiring against anyone but everyone is entitled to their own opinion and conspiracy theories.