Posted by Phoenix Immigration Attorney Nick Alcock:
One of the big questions remaining in the wake of yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling on Arizona’s SB 1070 is how police agencies across the state will enforce the one section of the law that was upheld. While the high court struck down most of the law, one critical section remains – the “show me your papers provision” that allows police to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws. The main concern is whether this law can be effectively enforced without running the risk of racial profiling. Both the Phoenix Mayor and Chief of Police insist that they have policies in place that will uphold the law and will not be deterred by the court’s ruling.
Two years ago, every law enforcement officer across the state was required to watch a training video that showed step-by-step how to handle the state’s tough new immigration law SB 1070. Now, Gov. Jan Brewer has requested that all Arizona law enforcement officers get a refresher course and watch the training video again. Authorities claim the video will be reevaluated to see if any policy changes need to be made.
That video is just one part of the overall training officers receive and officers will continue to enforce the law without violating anyone’s civil rights.
Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garza refers to it as “policing with a purpose.”
“We will continue our training from a technology standpoint, from a messaging standpoint and from a face-to-face standpoint,” Garcia said. “Within seven weeks from this date, we will complete training of all 3,000 officers of the Phoenix Police Department in policing with a purpose specific to SB 1070.”
“I trust that Chief Garcia, working with command staff and our legal team, will make any appropriate changes to the video as necessary, in light of SB 1070 Supreme Court guidance today on Section 2B,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.
Joe Clure, president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, said that he does not believe Monday’s SB 1070 ruling will open the door to racial profiling or impact how officers handle themselves on the street. “Police officers are not routinely going to run around and just stop folks unless there is a legitimate reason to do so,” Clure said. “Frankly, we’re too busy. I just do not believe racial profiling will be an issue at all.”
However, a number of community leaders said that no matter how much training officers go through there is no way to avoid racial profiling with this law.
The ACLU is planning to track complaints from citizens and file lawsuits, if necessary. A number of lawsuits have already been filed opposing SB 1070.
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