USDOJ: Alamance County Sheriff’s Office showed “egregious pattern” of racial profiling Latinos

The U.S. Justice Department announced Tuesday that the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO), under the leadership of Sheriff Terry S. Johnson, has engaged in a pattern of misconduct that violates the Constitution and federal law.

Following a comprehensive investigation, the Justice Department found reasonable cause to believe that Sheriff’s Office engages practice of discriminatory policing against Latinos, in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act and Title VI.

Here’s more from the DOJ’s press advisory:

Alamance County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) discriminatory policing activities include:

  •    ACSO deputies target Latino drivers for traffic stops;
  •    A study of ACSO’s traffic stops on three major county roadways found that deputies were between four and 10 times more likely to stop Latino drivers than non-Latino drivers;
  •    ACSO deputies routinely locate checkpoints just outside Latino neighborhoods, forcing residents to endure police checks when entering or leaving their communities;
  •    ACSO practices at vehicle checkpoints often vary based on a driver’s ethnicity.   Deputies insist on examining identification of Latino drivers, while allowing drivers of other ethnicities to pass through without showing identification;
  •    ACSO deputies arrest Latinos for minor traffic violations while issuing citations or warnings to non-Latinos for the same violations;
  •    ACSO uses jail booking and detention practices, including practices related to immigration status checks, that discriminate against Latinos;
  •    The sheriff and ACSO’s leadership explicitly instruct deputies to target Latinos with discriminatory traffic stops and other enforcement activities;
  •    The sheriff and ACSO leadership foster a culture of bias by using anti-Latino epithets; and
  •    ACSO engages in substandard reporting and monitoring practices that mask its discriminatory conduct.

Taken together, these practices undermine ACSO’s ability to serve and protect Alamance County’s Latino residents and the community at large.

The Justice Department notes that addressing these findings and creating sustainable reforms will require the Sheriff’s office to commit to long term structural, cultural and institutional change.  And that any reform efforts  include systems of accountability to ensure that law enforcement agency “has eliminated unlawful bias from its decision making at all levels.”

To read the USDOJ’s Letter of Findings in the case, click here.

3 Comments

  1. Stephanie Daugherty

    September 18, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Now can we get them kicked out of the 287g program? Please?

  2. joe doe

    September 19, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    As a resident but also latino, I can say my name is a high profile name. Through sports and what high school (alot minority) I attended but also from being the only few hispanic high college recruited player at that time. Iv been pulled over atleast 8 times within 4 years, as a teenager and also no drug or dui or any prior records on me beside my race and last name or vehical I drive. the first time I had to deal with the childish and MOB like behavior from ACSD was when I was 16. first day got my license leaving house community close to a hispanic trailor park I get pulled over, by a unmark white 2000ish ford expedition suv. 4 officer with semi automatic rifles surrounds me, point gun in my face and tell me to get out the car and they check my inside of my car and me and lets me go after giving my license to him with no ticket. the 2nd time I get pulled over I make sure I stop at a house full of friend, I look back and 3 sheriff cars behind me, again with the same procedure. but this time they tell me to take off my pants and show them my private parts. I have witness. so anyone that approvals ACSD is because your not living scared to call your local law enforcement. like we are. no matter what race. its citizen of alamance county in general. ** THIS IS NOT MY REAL FACEBOOK** I still have to live in this town.

  3. Fellow Alamance County Native

    September 24, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Joe Doe.

    Did you contact the DOJ? They still are looking for info like this.

    Alamance.Info@usdoj.gov is the email address to send info. Pass it around to others, and let’s get this man to at least act human.

    How Alamance County every elected a man who, in Federal Court, was regarded by a Psychiatrist as a chronic liar and possibly dangerous, I will never know . People are right to be scared!

    The case was UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
    EASTERN DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
    GREENEVILLE
    UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, DOCKET NO. CR 2 00 65

    GOVERNMENT,

    VS. GREENEVILLE, TN
    AUGUST 7, 2001
    SHERIDAN MCMAHAN AND
    GEORGE MOONEYEAM,
    DEFENDANTS.

    One read of this transcript and you will believe!