Local PD in Hot Water for Violating Pro-Vegan PETA Latino Staffer’s Constitutional Right

For Immediate Release:
March 9, 2023

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

San Antonio – Today, PETA sent a letter to San Antonio Police Chief William McManus and Deputy City Attorney Jose Niño in the Prosecution Division, demanding that they withdraw an unlawful citation that an officer issued last month to Gabriel Ochoa, the manager of PETA Latino, PETA’s outreach division that serves as a resource for Spanish-speaking communities in the U.S. and Latin America. Ochoa passed out a single leaflet encouraging a passerby to go vegan during Lent to “honor God” outside the Alamo Plaza before law enforcement swooped in, told him to leave the public sidewalk—which he began to do—and then doubled down by citing him, in violation of the First Amendment.

“Law enforcement appears to have retaliated against Mr. Ochoa for simply sharing information about saving animals’ lives by going vegan,” says PETA Foundation General Counsel for Animal Law Jared Goodman. “The city ordinance explicitly exempts leaflets that are religious and charitable in nature, and Mr. Ochoa will pursue legal action unless this unlawful citation is withdrawn.”

Every person who goes vegan, as Mr. Ochoa’s leaflet encouraged, spares nearly 200 animals a year from miserable lives and terrifying, violent deaths in blood-soaked slaughterhouses; dramatically shrinks their carbon footprint, as animal agriculture is a leading cause of the climate catastrophe; and reduces their own risk of suffering from health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, strokes, obesity, and cancer.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind