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Victorville Council Member Blanca Gomez Arrested During Council Meeting

CBS Los Angeles logo CBS Los Angeles 7/22/2021 Syndicated Local – CBS Los Angeles

VICTORVILLE (CBSLA) — A council meeting in Victorville took an aggressive turn Tuesday night when Council Member Blanca Gomez was arrested.

a group of people standing in a room © Provided by CBS Los Angeles

Victorville Council Member Blanca Gomez was arrested Tuesday night after attempting to intervene in the removal of a man from the council chambers. (Source: Chef Basil/Facebook)

According to the city, a masked man in the audience — later identified as Daniel Robert Rodriguez — began recording the meeting and caused a disturbance that “prevented the council from conducting its business meeting.”

In video from the meeting, Mayor Debra Jones can be heard asking the city manager if audience members can record the meeting.

The city manager responded that if an audience member is disturbing a meeting, the council can ask that person to leave. Jones then tells the man to stop recording or she would ask him to leave.

Important to note that it is legal for any person attending an open and public meeting to record the meeting with a camera or voice recorder, unless the act of recording the meeting cannot be done without disrupting the meeting, according to state law.

When Rodriguez failed to stop recording, Jones directed San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deputies to search his phone to see if he was recording the meeting and asked them to escort him out of the council chambers.

That’s when Gomez appeared to attempt to intervene.

“Council Member Gomez left the dais and interfered with the deputies’ efforts to escort Rodriguez from City Hall,” the city said in a statement. “Within minutes, the deputies were forced to restrain and arrest both Council Member Gomez and Rodriguez as an altercation occurred led by Gomez.”

Gomez was subsequently charged with resisting/obstructing a peace officer and Rodriguez was charged with resisting/obstructing a peace officer and obstructing the business of a public agency, the city said.

Gomez was charged and released. Rodriguez remained in custody Wednesday at the High Desert Detention Center for allegedly violating the terms of his post release community supervision following a previous incarceration.

“The actions of Mr. Rodriguez and Council Member Gomez prevented us from conducting our council meeting last night,” the city said. “What’s worse is that Council Member Gomez lost self-control displaying erratic and volatile behavior that caused us all to fear for the safety of our Council Members, staff and community members in attendance.”

CBS Los Angeles has reached out to Gomez and the sheriff’s department for comment, but did not immediately hear back from Gomez, and the sheriff’s department said it had no further comment due to the ongoing investigation.

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