Latino Police Officers: AZ Law “Practically Mandated” Profiling


Arizona's new immigration law is making many Latinos in law enforcement fear the law inevitably will lead to police treating all Latinos – whether or not they're in the country legally – in a discriminatory way, says “The Arizona law,” Art Acevedo, president of the National Latino Peace Officers Association and police chief in Austin, Tex., says, “has, in essence, not only legalized racial profiling, it practically mandated it.”

If you have the same six people that look Hispanic in the same set of circumstances as six people with blonde hair and blue eyes,” Acevedo says, “I guarantee you that [] the folks in those vehicles will be treated differently.”Law enforcement groups are split. Police unions, such as the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association and the Arizona Police Association, back the measure. Many police chiefs, however, oppose it. The controversy over racial profiling concerns has clearly frustrated the law's supporters, who say the law does more to explicitly rule out the practice than almost any other criminal statute.

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