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