Yard sale signs in Glenwood Springs result in confrontation with cops | PostIndependent.com

Yard sale signs in Glenwood Springs result in confrontation with cops

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Cecilia Gil wanted to hold a yard sale last Saturday. But she ended up with citations for a sign violation and resisting arrest.

Gil, 47, was arrested last Friday just before 7 p.m. A Glenwood Springs police officer was returning from a yard sale sign violation on Sky Ranch Drive when she saw a yard sale sign on a light pole at 27th Street and South Grand Avenue. She contacted a woman who was walking down South Grand Avenue with her daughter carrying yard sale signs and tape, according to a police report.

The officer explained that most people aren’t aware of it, but there is a city ordinance against posting yard sale signs on city property. Gil said she just saw someone else’s yard sale sign when she put up hers, the report said.

The officer told Gil she’d just talked to the people who put up those signs and they agreed to take them down. But Gil yelled that the officer was “harassing her because she was Mexican” and then walked away, according to the report.

In an interview with the Post Independent, Gil insisted that the police officer was just in a bad mood and asked her “are you legal?” before Gil replied, “Why are you doing this to me, just because I’m Mexican?”

Gil walked to Oriole Street where she’d posted another sign, police said.

“I asked her if she would just please take down the signs and then I would leave,” the officer wrote in a report. “She put her hands over her ears and started walking down the sidewalk. I told her that this situation was ridiculous and please just take down the signs because I did not want to issue her a summons.”

Gil and her daughter disagree with the report; she didn’t yell at police, and she was just trying to comply and take down the signs.

Another officer arrived and tried to talk to her. Gil allegedly greeted him by yelling and tried to walk away again.

Police said she screamed at him and tried to pull away when he grabbed her arm to make her stop. She continued struggling while being handcuffed and yelled that police were only trying to arrest her because she’s Mexican, police said.

Gil accused police of using excessive force. She said she turned when an officer pulled her arm behind her back because it hurt and not to resist arrest. She said she went to the hospital because overly tight handcuffs caused swelling and bruising.

Gil said she was born in El Paso, Texas and has lived in Glenwood Springs for about two years. During an interview, Gil appeared to get upset and tears came to her eyes two or three times. She said she couldn’t believe police would arrest her like that in front of her daughter.

Another officer arrived and interviewed Gil. He wrote in a report that Gil was angry and said she was going to take down the signs but an officer threw her down and hit her.

“I won’t even address that,” said Police Chief Terry Wilson. “She was told to remove the signs. It was illegal. She said ‘No,’ refused to do so and continued to walk away. She became violent and combative.”

According to police, Gil told officers at one point, “I was born in America. You can’t do this to me.”

Her son was apologetic for his mother’s behavior and told police she “had probably taken the stop personally and even racially,” police said.

Wilson said it’s illegal to post signs in any city right of way or on city property such as light poles or traffic signals. People advertising for yard sales must post signs only on private property that is theirs or where they have permission to do so.

La Tribuna editor Luis Polar conducted English-Spanish interpretation for this story.

Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121


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