ACLU: New Mexico deputies kept pulling over black US agentDecember 7, 2017 2:37am

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A black female federal immigration agent on assignment in New Mexico was repeatedly pulled over by sheriff's deputies — and twice by the same deputy — with no probable cause, according to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico.

The group filed a lawsuit Tuesday in state district court on behalf of Sherese Crawford, 38, against the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department stemming from three traffic stops that the ACLU said amounted to racial profiling.

Crawford, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation agent, was first stopped in April on suspicion of driving a stolen car but was actually driving a rental car provided by her agency, the lawsuit said.

Later that month, Bernalillo County Sheriff's Deputy Patrick Rael then pulled her over for tailgating, the lawsuit said. When he examined Crawford's license, court documents said he recognized her name and asked her if she had been pulled over the week before. Rael said he remembered Crawford's name because an officer also with her federal agency and a sheriff's deputy present at the first stop had said that she had an "attitude," according to the lawsuit.

Days later, Rael pulled over Crawford for driving too slow, the lawsuit claimed.

Crawford did not receive warnings or citations during any of the traffic stops, the lawsuit said.

"Our client is an accomplished federal agent who was targeted for driving while black," said ACLU of New Mexico attorney Kristin Greer Love. "BCSO unlawfully and repeatedly stopped her because she fit a racial profile. Targeting people because of the color of their skin is unconstitutional and bad policing."

Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Felicia Maggard said the department cannot comment on pending litigation. A Facebook message left seeking comment with the union representing sheriffs' deputies, the Bernalillo County Deputy Sheriff's Association, was not immediately returned.

The ACLU seeks an unspecified amount in damages for Crawford and policy changes on racial profiling within sheriff's department.

According to the department's website, Undersheriff Rudy Mora, during his two decades in law enforcement, has helped to develop various policies, including one addressing racial profiling.

As for the sheriff's office, Maggard said its standard operating procedures are posted online.

Those procedures state that the department takes seriously any allegations of bias-based policing. Deputies who witness incidents or are aware of them are required to report them to supervisors.

The lawsuit comes as the Bernalillo County deputies who patrol the state's largest metro area in and around Albuquerque have been involved in nine shootings in a four-month period, spurring criticism from civil rights groups and activists.

Sheriff Manuel Gonzales also has drawn criticism for saying that no one has provided him with data showing that body cameras on deputies make the community safer.

He said last month that he won't require his deputies to wear them because he said the media would use the footage to criticize the officers. Gonzales told KOAT-TV that the video "gives a lopsided, one-sided story, which I think is a disservice to the whole community."

___

Associated Press writer Russell Contreras is a member of the AP's race and ethnicity team. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

Kaepernick's visit to jail draws rebuke from guards' unionVisit by ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to New York's Rikers Island jail draws rebuke from correction officers; Department of Correction says purpose was to share message of 'hope and inspiration'
FILE- In this Aug. 18, 2017, photo, a statue of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest sits in a park in Memphis, Tenn. The city of Memphis is asking a court to overrule a commission's decision that prevents the removal of the Confederate statue from Health Sciences Park. The city filed a petition in Davidson County Chancery Court on Monday, Dec. 13. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz, File)
Memphis asks judge to rule on removal of Confederate statue
Kentucky to investigate worker accused of sexual harassmentState officials have launched a second sexual harassment investigation of a corrections officer whose alleged behavior led to a $1.6 million jury verdict earlier this year
Judge: Reporter need not testify in Chicago police shootingThe first journalist to publicly question Chicago police accounts of the shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald won't have to testify in the criminal case of the officer charged in the killing
FILE- In this March 22, 2017, file photo, from left, Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., House Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn of S.C., and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus meet with President Donald Trump in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. Moore said on Tuesday, Dec. 12, that two people posing as Associated Press reporters telephoned her office, then spewed racial slurs. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
Lawmaker: Callers posing as AP reporters spewed slurs
Marta Romeno, left, one of five female kitchen workers in Boston bringing a sexual harassment lawsuit against McCormick & Schmick's, a national restaurant chain featuring seafood and steaks, recounts her experiences as attorney Sophia Hall looks on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Boston. The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, a Boston-based nonprofit representing the women, says the lawsuit alleges a workplace filled with "lewd behavior, sexually inappropriate comments and unwanted touching." (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
Female workers sue McCormick & Schmick's over lewd behavior
This component is currently unavailable.
AdChoices

Related Searches

Related Searches

Most Popular

AdChoices