News and views from the award-winning author of the novels The Skinny Years, America Libre, House Divided and Pancho Land

Friday, March 5, 2010

Enforcing DWB (Driving While Brown) a top Arpaio priority

Joe Arpaio who proudly proclaims himself "America's Toughest Sheriff" is determined to vigorously enforce DWB (Driving While Brown) infractions in Arizona's Maricopa County -- even as the county has become the "Kidnapping Capital of America."

Armando Nido says he was driving home when Maricopa County Sheriff's Deputy James Carey tried to pull him over for a broken tail light. Carey "illuminated his lights but did not run his siren," says Nido, a U.S. citizen.
Nido says he "slowly and cautiously proceeded to drive his vehicle home rather than immediately pull over" because he feared "the pattern and practice that had been implemented and exhibited by" the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office toward people of Hispanic descent.
Nido says he parked in front of his home and got out to speak to Carey, who "accelerated his own vehicle around the driver's side" of Nido's car, running him over.
Nido says he was trapped under the police car, unable to move, and Carey refused to help him or let his family help him. Nido says he "remained trapped under the vehicle until fire and paramedics arrived," with multiple broken bones and burns, all the while suffering verbal abuse from Carey.
After Carey ran him over, Nido says, his mother ran outside and pleaded to help her son, but Carey "struck her in the chest, knocked her to the ground, handcuffed her and arrested her."
Seeing the abuse, Nido's brother, Raul, began taking photos, and Carey and other deputies "tackled him to the ground, took the camera, handcuffed him, lifted him by his cuffed arms, knocked him to the ground again, re-lifted him by his cuffed arms, and arrested him," according to the complaint.
When a second brother, Rene Nido, sought to help his brother pinned under the car, Carey Tasered him, "handcuffed him, lifted him by his cuffed arms, and arrested him."
All charges filed against the Nidos were dropped, according to the Superior Court complaint. The Nidos say sheriff's detectives recommended that the County Attorney's Office prosecute Carey for aggravated assault, but charges were never filed.
The Nidos say there is a "culture of hatred" in Arpaio's department "to individuals who appear to be of Hispanic descent."
Raul Ramos y Sanchez


Zulmara said...

WOW!! The more things change, the more they stay the same...thanks for all you to to combat this growing hatred we see everywhere in America.



Wally O'Connor said...

The cop needs to go to jail. He screwed up. However, this is not a case of discrimination. Here's why:

1) If a white man had been driving without a tail light, would he have been pulled over? Most likely, white men are pulled over for busted tail lights all the time.

2) If a white man had not pulled over, promptly, would the police officer have been suspicious? Yes, of course.

3) If, after not pulling over immediately, a white man pulled up in front of his house - with friends and family in the area -- would the cop be on high alert? Certainly.

4) If a white man had done all of these things and THEN got out of his vehicle to speak to the cop, would there be a bad outcome? Quite likely.

The lesson: use common sense around the police. Pull over immediately. Do not drive to or summon your relatives (cops are terrified of being outnumbered and then killed). Do NOT get out of the vehicle unless asked to do so.

For the same info from an African-American's perspective, please see Chris Rock's well known primer on the subject.

Wally O'Connor said...

Also: watch this video and note point four. If you step out of your car, police assume it is to attack. Do NOT step out of your car unless the police ask you to.

If you're Non-Hispanic white, Latino, African-America, or Martian, the result will not be good.