Feds accuse North Carolina sheriff's office of racial profiling
Sheriff Terry S. Johnson says accusations that his department racially profiled Latinos in traffic stops are "completely false."
September 20th, 2012
11:18 AM ET

Feds accuse North Carolina sheriff's office of racial profiling

By Gustavo Valdes and Thom Patterson, CNN

(CNN) - North Carolina pastor Otoniel Recinos has been offering an unusual warning these days to members of his church: Don't drive in nearby Alamance County. It's not safe, he warns them, because of the sheriff's department.

A two-year Justice Department investigation backs up what Recinos and other Latinos in the region say they've known for a long time: Traffic stops by Alamance County sheriff's deputies are sometimes part of a "pattern of racial profiling" aimed at searching for illegal immigrants, according to a statement this week by Thomas E. Perez, the assistant U.S. attorney general for the civil rights division.

Sheriff Terry S. Johnson has used offensive language when talking to Spanish speakers, the statement said, describing them as "Taco eaters."

Deputies were between four to 10 times more likely to stop Latino drivers for traffic violations than non-Latinos, the Justice Department said. Many of the stops took place at traffic checkpoints organized by deputies near Hispanic communities. Latinos were arrested for violations, while others got only warnings or citations, the department said.

The Justice Department also said Hispanics who were jailed after their arrests were discriminated against because they were targeted for immigration status checks.

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. fossilhund

    Profiling is applying knowledge gained from past experience to present day situations to determine a course of action.

    October 1, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. EKIA

    It turns out the vast majority of people they pulled over were actually illegal. Go Alamance county.

    September 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      No, thanks, racial profiling is morally wrong and criminal.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
      • Dduke

        Breaking the law is immoral and ahh criminal

        September 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dr.Watch

    Uh, hello. anyone reading this?

    September 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dr.Watch

    I am not being racist or anything but the southern part of the U.S. hate people from other races.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jorge

      As an implant Southerner, I can tell you that much of the South is stuck in the past in many more ways than just race relations. Just look at the statistics on poverty, family crime, education and health, and you'll see a sad pattern.

      September 24, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |