Border patrol sued, accused of profiling, harassment

NORWALK A class-action lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Toledo alleges U.S. Border C
Cory Frolik
May 24, 2010

NORWALK

A class-action lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Toledo alleges U.S. Border Control agents at the Sandusky station and police officers in Norwalk, Plymouth and Attica engaged in discriminatory and illegal racial profiling.

Without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, the suit contends, police officers and border patrol agents restrained, interrogated and arrested people solely because they looked Hispanic.

"In none of those local cases were the people ever ticketed or arrested for anything," said lead counsel Mark Heller

Comments

brutus smith

One of the most darkest days in the history of the United States happened 9 years ago today. It was a day our Constitution and states rights were trampled upon. What a disgrace. And now we have people on here wanting our rights trampled upon some more. These same people who like to cloak themselves with the flag.

Oh, and what happened 9 years ago today? That is the day the Supreme Court violated our Constitution and States rights by crowning George W. Bush President of the United States. What a horrible day in our history.

Fireside

Is the border patrol worth the cost? Take the number of arrests divided into the cost of the Lake Erie operations and tell me the cost per arrest. Basic math.

NineMM

While I feel that the Border Patrol may be necessary..........I just ran into one of their nit-wits at BP on Washington St.

He didn't impress me in the least with his thick gold chain around his neck and 2 female passengers in that nice taxpayer furnished Blazer or whatever it was. Nor his big mouth, boisterous attitude. He stared at me and I stared right back. Seemed like a punk. Almost was wanting him to shake this born and bred USA citizen down. He was grossly overwieght in both his physique and ego.

I can see why so many are down on this agency.

Brittanicus

The fools in Washington don't have a clue, about the consequence of calling for another Comprehensive Immigration Reform package. Has anybody really got any conceivable idea of the ramifications, once President Obama and his political troops whisper AMNESTY. It will be like the final Marconi radio SS (Save our Souls) urgent message from the sinking HMS Titanic? Those perpetrators who want to pass a bill of Immigration reform, are completely ignorant of the masses of humanity that will be pushing against the border fence. From the tip of South America to the huge continent of Asia, new peoples are already biding their time? It will not matter if E-Verify becomes a permanent fixture or even if Homeland Security fully empowers once again the uniformed police 287 (g) federal immigration detainment bill. Even a sudden surge in ICE raids or any enforcement matters will be completely obsolete, as millions more will be stampeding at the border barrier. It might as not exist, for all the good it will do against millions of destitute, sick, handicapped, pregnant, criminal and just illegal immigrants looking for a better life. Then once settled here they can sponsor most family members including their progeny. Tell me who is going to stop this sudden surge in numbers, that will start moving towards the fence in Canada and the Southern border line. Then we have tourists and students who have arrived for years by aircraft, but never returned to their home country. People trying to cross the undermanned border will never end. Knowing that there is always a chance of another AMNESTY, those who cannot make it in their own country will keep on coming--and never STOP?

Has anybody with at least one brain cell in their head, considered that once somebody yells AMNESTY--everybody and their Grandmother are going to be slipping across the border or boarding a jet to come here. Neither the Border Patrol, National Guard or Jesus Christ himself are going to stop, the millions of destitute, uneducated, unskilled foreign labor and all the rest in this behemoth deluge? They will wait for the call to go out and just like the 1986 AMNESTY, they will appear with fraudulent documents, that indicates they have been here 5 years or more. Those 3 million people who were legitimized, turned into 5 million after the Simpson/Mazzoli bill was ratified? We already are subsidizing 20 to 30 million foreign national families, whose going to pay for the unknown number waiting just across the fence? Its going to be the unmentionable mass numbers, exiting from every far corner of the impoverished countries on this Earth to be departing for America. GOD HELP THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND ITS SURVIVAL.

So get on the phone and demand as a voter for your lawmaker to vote for THE SAVE ACT (H.R. 3308) and be relentless. The number to call is 202-224-3121. Also bombard the House-Senate policy makers with 28 cent postcards, to stop the open border organizations from engineering another Path to citizenship or AMNESTY. Tell them to amend the 1986 Immigration Reform Act, not another facade that was a bloated with fraud. Understand that THE SAVE ACT will protect American jobs and remove illegal immigrants from working locations over time. Those who believe in America’s survival, without OVERPOPULATION as stated by the US Census bureau better read the facts, not the lies at NUMBERSUSA. Those who want details of corruption in WASHINGTON and state government go to JUDICIAL WATCH. For Overpopulation statistics, should go to CAPSWEB. Other sites of interest on Immigration enforcement is ALIPAC and AMERICAN PATROL.

Anonymous

Hey, Patrol Dudes pick on the White males we have no rights, We cant sue, All we can do is press one because we cant speak Mexican, It's time we white guys get our own group Stupid Punks In Cauasian Suits [SPICS} LOL Really come on you want to work here act like you want to belong you people keep your selves in the bulls eye Either speak up or press one

24productions

Would these same individuals be so arrogant without the badge, gun, and extra long leash ?.....

....,I think not. I think there's a fine line between confidence and narcissism.

24productions

Anyone over the age of 18, can perhaps sit back and remember a time or two, being carded for any controlled product, and, without a blink, may have immediately put the anger towards the teller, simply because that minor didn't hold proper credentials. Now, that same person tries after crossing the "legal" age of consent, and gleefully hands over the ID without reluctance...point being, if suspicion is a factor, no matter the age, race, or creed, SIMPLY HAND OVER THE PROPER CREDENTIALS, with a smile, and continue on your way. I believe a person whom dispises the law, just may be breaking it.

NineMM

I wonder who is minding these guys. The way this dude presented himself to me this evening....Almost makes me believe that harassment does take place.

Louie

Re Brutus smith the darkest day in history is when Obama and his team of bail me out started to try to run this
country and I know what your reply is going to be Bush was the one who started this recession well this may be partly true but at least Bush didnt make a record defeceit and mess up peoples health care.The problem in this country is people like you thinking as long as I am polically correct than Im right.

Louie

I wonder when people are going to stop using their race to get out of trouble they get into.These days if you
use the race card you are able to do things and get away with it because no one wants to be labeled a racist.I
wonder what excuse white people will be able to use when something happens to them that isnt right.White people cant use the race card so they have to deal with the Bulls&&t thats dealt to them.

NineMM

@ Louie.........Bush set more than a few records as far as the deficit goes. Is it only a record when you wind up with someone you don't like? I think this time last year we were facing a record deficit as well. Do you think McCain could have done a better job with a point, a wave, and a thumbs up.

I don't care who would or could have been elected. Nobody is going to undo the damage that Bush and Cheney caused with thier own little war and the no strings attached bail outs of big financial institutions.

The job market was also going down the tubes.......GW even started the unemployment extensions. At the end of Bush's term, unemployment was at the highest level in years, wouldn't that be considered a record as well? Bush recommended the bailouts of the big three as well. Obama has no choice but to run up a bigger bill.........Is he doing the right thing? I don't know. Regardless, he is the president for at least the next three years. We all may as well see what happens until next election.

traind_observr

I would like to ask the question, "Are they really suing the Border Patrol?" The beginning of the article states that Border Control is being sued and there is no such agency in the Federal Government. I think real victims are the readers of the Sandusky Register. We are all victims of poor proof reading on the part of this writer and the editor-in-chief (or as it may say on his door "editor-in-chef").

I would like to see some tax payers file a class action suit for emotional, psychological and financial anguish against FLOC and ABLE. The amount of tax dollars used in order to support the illegal immigrants in this country is insane, and by illegal immigrants I mean anyone who entered or overstayed visas illegally. I believe it has cost the taxpayers of this country a lot of anguish and organizations like FLOC, ABLE, LA RAZA, etc. are all responsible for allowing this to continue on our dime.

I do agree that if there are 4th Admendment rights being violated then it is a legitiment case. If they can violate the 4th admendment rights of illegal aliens, then they can also violate the rights of U.S. Citizens. However, if we allow them to enter illegally we have no way of verifying who they are when they enter this country. We already have enough people here legally that drink and drive, burglarize, rape, kill, and molest children. That is to say that not all illegal aliens are doing this, but there are enough of them doing it that it costs the taxpayers dollars and puts people who are here legitimately in danger.

Richard Bebb

Read the police logs if you dont think the border patrol is beneficial in this area. Their work deporting those who are illegally in this country is one thing, but they also serve a purpose by assisting local agencies who are being forced to make cuts in staff. One of the areas this suit names is norwalk/huron county, is there one person on here honestly going to say that there is not a major illegal problem in that area.

http://www.sanduskyregister.com/...

http://www.sanduskyregister.com/...

Santownresident

This isnt Arizona or Texas. These guys are bored driving around in their SUVs soooo........they profile. What do they have to lose but boredome soooo score an arrest or ....polish up on protocol.

Don S

If the Border Patrol are looking for Mexicans, do they pull over black people????? What am I missing ?

T. A. Schwanger

Here is something for all the freedom sellers commenting. Rub some light brown shoe polish on your bearded face and wrap a turbin around your fead. After being stopped 3 time within days by the Border Patrol you'll get fed up ready to call the ACLU.

Sounds like we have too many of theses cowboys and cowgirls running around with idle time. Seems there are more Border Patrotrucks than Sandusky has police cars. Can you say over kill??

dorothy gale

Many valid points made here, on BOTH sides of the argument. The fact remains, though, that if you are here ILLEGALLY it is a crime. Illegal = against the law. Yes, I want a better life for my family but as an American citizen, I am expected to achieve that through LEGAL means or suffer the consequences. And I think it's hilarious that Mexico has such strict immigration laws; Mexicans don't even want to be there! Don't know about anybody else but that would be a huge red flag for ME! "Racial profiling" is a necessary evil, I believe, so if you are a Mexican it is very simple --- expect to be questioned and if you are here legally and can prove it, no problem. If you don't want to be sent to jail or deported then don't break our laws. And a tip to illegals of ALL nationalities: at least make an attempt to look like you "belong" here by learning to speak our language, which is ENGLISH!

brutus smith

Louie, There is 1 little problem with your 2009 deficit theory.But there is one rather important detail that makes a big difference. The chart is based on the assumption that the current administration should be blamed for the 2009 fiscal year. While this makes sense to a casual observer, it is largely untrue. The 2009 fiscal year began October 1, 2008, nearly four months before Obama took office. The budget for the entire fiscal year was largely set in place while Bush was in the White House.
http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/2...

And going by your math unemployment has only gone up only 1.9% since Obama took office.

mikel

this article doesn't give the story.

apparently, this vehicle was pulled over when police noticed the brake lights weren't working. legal stop. there were 5 people of mexican descent in the auto. the police asked for any id showing them to be legal. perfecty legal question. some of them could not produce documentation. that is when things went bad for those people. so, i say that the police were within their guidelines. so some documents and this doesn't happen.

Chung Lee

Chung Lee would like to make some valid points. Chung Lee is not PoPo or never claim to be but Chung Lee sees a couple things missing here. First of all when big fight break out at Crowbar or Underground 5 Sandusky Police cars show up and one unmarked Sandusky Police car and sometimes the Sheriff and other times Chung Lee see Highway Patrol. How come Chung Lee not see Border Patrol...especially since their office is only 1 block away? Are they too busy to help out?

Secondly, they catch illegals and arrest them and end of story? How come when crackhead gets busted they tell on supplier and get reduced punishment and police go after the supplier and crackhouses? Chung Lee is no Horatio Kane but wouldn't it make sense for the border patrol to go after the employers?

The problem as Chung Lee see it is that there are too many competing agencies.... maybe one should be administrative and crack down on the people who employ them. Seems fishy (not in good way) that only one type of lawbreaker is being punished. If these illegals can't find jobs here they go away but until the employers are held to account.... this will no happen.

brutus smith

If they would enforce the laws already in the books about employers hiring illegals then there would not be a story. Stop employers from hiring them and about 95% of your illegal immigration problem is gone.

Ned Mandingo

Chung Lee

When Chung Lee have ant problem.... Chung Lee don't go after the ant but the food that brings them in Chung Lee house.

Ned Mandingo

Why was my coment erased? I want law enforcment profiling, its the law of averages. Its called being efficent. Why waste their time with Americans when they can target the problem people, mexicans. I pay taxes that pay law enforcment salaries and i don't want illegal mexicans around here. Thank you officers for sending these criminals back where they belong.

SR watcher

United States v. Arvizu, 534 U.S. 266 (2002) is a leading Supreme Court case deciding the issue whether respondent's Fourth Amendment rights were violated when a Border Patrol officer conducted an investigatory stop of a vehicle after the officer noted unusual behavior of the occupants.

Courts must determine from the totality of the circumstances whether law enforcement had an objective and particularized basis for suspecting criminal wrongdoing. United States v. Arvizu, 534 U.S. 266, 272, 273-77 (2002).

While reasonable suspicion must be based on more than "ill-defined hunches," officers may "draw on their own experience and specialized training to make inferences from and deductions about the cumulative information available to them that 'might well elude an untrained person.' " Arvizu, 534 U.S. at 273, (quoting United States v. Cortez, 449 U.S. 411, 418, (1981)).

hancrack me up

Parking downtown is bad enough, but with this fleet of vehicles in the garage, it's a complete waste of space. Maybe fill in that giant hole & empty lot between the garage & Second Hand Rose so these "officers" (?!) can park there. I'd like to see the daily (& nightly) activities that go on in their "office" from day to day. It looks really professional flirting with/driving around female gas station attendants at all hours of the day & night. Ship them all back to Port Clinton where they were originally supposed to set up shop. At least over there they could get some action with the Bowling Green & UT girls at Nick's Roadhouse parking lot.

Anonymous

SR watcher
So isn't it the same as when an officer sees you weaving or erratic driving they have the right to pull you over, or if there is an APB on a certain height or color or nationality of a suspected person they have a right to pull anyone that might match that description over to question them. I see nothing wrong with the way things are happening and the way the law enforcement people have to go about doing their jobs. Why tie their hands more.

SR watcher

To Grayghost:

Probable cause is a hard concept to define. In Brinegar v. U.S., 338 U.S. 160 (1949) the Supreme Court declared that "in dealing with probable cause...we deal with probabilities," but the Court did not identify the degree of probability needed other than to say that "more than bare suspicion" and "less than evidence which would justify...conviction" was required.

So...I believe the short answer to your question is yes, law enforcement does not violate a driver's Fourth Amendment rights when they stop that driver pursuant to "probable cause," i.e., stopping someone who is driving erratically (crossing center line), has a tail-light burned out, is speeding, etc. The traffic violation is the probable cause for the initial stop. As the officer aproaches the vehicle, that officer can look into the vehicle to observe anything in "plain view." If the officer detects odor of alcohol, sees drugs or drug paraphenalia in plain view, or observes a crime taking place in the vehicle (say, for example, some kind of violent act), then those observations would give rise to the officer having probable cause to continue the "seizure" of the driver, passengers, and vehicle, and to effectuate a subsequent arrest based on the plain view observations. No arrest warrant is needed here, and that makes sense. Arrest warrants are not needed for arrests "in the street."

Once the occupants of the vehicle are arrested, the officer may search the passenger compartment of the vehicle and any containers therein contemporaneously to this lawful arrest per the Belton rule: New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454 (1981)).

However, a recently decided SCOTUS case, Arizona v. Gant, 129 S. Ct. 1710 (2009) held that police may search the passenger compartment of a vehicle incident to a recent occupant's arrest ONLY if it is reasonable to believe that the arrestee might access the vehicle at the time of the search or that the vehicle contains evidence of the offense of arrest. Id. at 1712-1713.

Anonymous

Enough, If no Green Card send them back at their expense, No money or not first time, Then Screw the goody too shoes give them Hard Labor and no easy living Give the ones who hire them Time in jail and remove their right to own any company, let the LEGAL Employees take over the bussiness PS do not agree with this post? don't read it LOL cause I could'nt care less what the Bleeding Hearts have to say.

Minnow

If you have nothing to hide then whats the big deal???? You should be happy the Border Patrol is hear to get rid of the illegals!!! ILLEGAL ALIENS are taking our jobs, working cheap for cash as everyone cries about the economy........think people!

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