Related AJC story here…
Cobb County Police Must Be Held Accountable to Concerns of Racial Profiling
Found in Press Statement
Written by Jerry Gonzalez
Posted on 2008-01-08
Last night, we attended and encouraged Latino participation at the Public Hearing to hear about Cobb County Police’s record for the re-accreditation process for CALEA. Based upon the stories and phone calls that GALEO and other groups have recieved directly, we believe there exists an element of racial profiling and discrimination within the ranks of Cobb County Police. The perception is shared amongst Latinos in Cobb County, regardless of their immigration or citizenship status.
Most anti-immigrant groups that attended last night (Minutemen and the Dustin Inman Society) dismissed these serious concerns as an attack on Cobb County’s law enforcement community. However, it is further from the truth.
For the record, GALEO supports the rule of law and our U.S. Constitution. GALEO also believes that public safety for ALL Cobb County residents is paramount in these discussions. However, due to the combined actions of Wild West Warren and his deportation pact with ICE and the increased vigilance of minor traffic violations by Cobb Police, this has lead to the belief that driving in Cobb County while Latino could be hazardous to your commute.
“Racial profiling does not exist” was the chorus of anti-immigrant groups that attended. They touted the rule of law and the enforcement of the laws on the books. One, a retired school teacher, even claimed that we should spend more money on police instead of spending money on schools because the schools have too many children of “illegal aliens” and don’t speak English. She must not have been a very good teacher because as an educator she should know that federal law protects all children within our K-12 schools, regardless of immigration status. Further, many within the anti-immigrant groups also were unaware of the distinction between the duties and responsibilities of the Cobb County Police and the differences of these duties with the Cobb County Sheriff, Wild West Warren.
Ironically, the anti-immigrant efforts were lead to preach the “rule of law” by a convicted felon, D.A. King of the Dustin Inman Society. How can someone who has been convicted of a felony preach about enforcing the law? If the anti-immigrant groups truly believe in the “rule of law” then they need to look for a spokesperson who has not been convicted of a felony.
As Americans, we must remember that the rule of law and our U.S. Constitution provides basic protections to all people. Regardless of what we may feel about the failed federal immigration policy, the rule of law includes protections of due process for ALL people, regardless of immigration status or citizenship. This was recently upheld by a federal court against the City of Hazelton. The rule of law should also be applied in a manner that does not discriminate against any group of people. We do not take exception with the rule of law, but we do take exception with the apparent lack of due process in some cases and the apparent discriminatory practices that some Cobb County Police are engaging in against Latino families. The testimony yesterday by Latino citizens was real. The testimony by attorneys working on some of these cases was real. The stories we have heard of people afraid to come forward to the police were also very real.
Last night, CALEA heard compelling testimony from Latino U.S. citizens who were victims of alleged police abuse and discrimination as well as victims of possible racial profiling and excessive abuse of power. These concerns are serious. For the sake of the overall public safety in Cobb County, the law enforcement officials need to work with community leaders to build back trust that has been seriously eroded. GALEO will gladly work with the Cobb County Police to ensure they address the concerns raised and resolve some of the cases that have been brought forth. We also expect that CALEA will act as an independant agency asking the same questions of Cobb County Police during the accreditation process. Cobb County Police must be accountable for some of the erosion of community trust that has occurred. However, we must work together to ensure we build back the trust in order to protect and serve the public safety of all of Cobb County residents.
As you can see, the open borders lobby has no shame.