Ari­zona of­fi­cers know eyes of law’s crit­ics are on them,

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Jonathan J. Cooper

PHOENIX — Po­lice en­forc­ing Ari­zona’s im­mi­gra­tion law are al­lowed to con­sider if a per­son speaks poor English, looks ner­vous or is trav­el­ing in an over­crowded ve­hi­cle. They can even take into ac­count whether some­one is wear­ing sev­eral lay­ers of cloth­ing in a hot cli­mate.

But top po­lice of­fi­cials is­sued a stern warn­ing to of­fi­cers Thurs­day, telling them in a train­ing video not to con­sider race or eth­nic­ity and em­pha­siz­ing that “the en­tire coun­try is watch­ing.”

Ari­zona’s law gen­er­ally re­quires of­fi­cers en­forc­ing an­other law to ques­tion a per­son’s im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus if there’s a rea­son­able sus­pi­cion that the per­son is in the coun­try il­le­gally.

In the train­ing video, an ex­pert ad­vises of­fi­cers to ask them­selves whether they would reach the same con­clu­sion about a His­panic per­son’s im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus if the sub­ject were white or black.

The video and sup­port­ing pa­per­work will be sent to all 170 Ari­zona po­lice agen­cies.

Po­lice de­part­ments will de­cide the best way to teach their forces. There is no re­quire­ment that all 15,000 Ari­zona po­lice of­fi­cers com­plete the train­ing be­fore the law takes ef­fect July 29.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.