When bigotry wears a badge

The color of your skin or the sound of your name is probable cause for persecution:

That same year, Johnson arrested more than 100 Latinos at a local Division of Motor Vehicles office and accused them of using phony documents to obtain driver's licenses. In 2004, according to Hannah Gill, a researcher at the University of North Carolina, Johnson proposed that deputies visit the homes of people with Latino surnames to root out voter fraud.

I think the thing that is most frightening about this is the fact that voters seem to love this guy, which could encourage other sheriffs to follow his bigoted example.

Alamance County Sheriff refers to Latinos as "taco eaters"

Where driving while brown is an arresting offense:

A North Carolina sheriff and his deputies routinely discriminated against Hispanics - a group he referred to as 'taco eaters' - by making unwarranted arrests with the goal of ramping up deportations, according to a two-year probe by the U.S. Department of Justice.

If you follow the link, you'll be following it all the way to the United Kingdom. Seriously, is this the kind of reputation we North Carolinians want to have in the rest of the world? That we round up/lock up people based on the color of their skin? That might please the barking dogs in the GOP's back yard, but it should scare the shit out of the rest of us.

Commission to explore NC's racial profiling problem

Justitia has been sneaking glances under her blindfold:

The task force for the N.C. Advocates for Justice also looked into incarceration rates and juvenile offenders by race. The study covered a decade of law enforcement traffic stops in North Carolina. Among other findings, the report said blacks and Hispanics are "almost twice as likely to be searched and twice as likely to be arrested" as white drivers.

In law enforcement terms, those statistics would qualify as "probable cause" that a crime was being committed, and that a much closer look was warranted:

U.S. Kidnaps Mark Lyttle, Leaves Him Stateless in Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala

Friday, April 24, 2009

U.S. Kidnaps Mark Lyttle, Leaves Him Stateless in Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala

Mark Lyttle, 31, born in North Carolina, was exhausted and traumatized, but he insisted on talking tonight. He's also very angry. He'd just been released this morning from the Fulton Jail in Atlanta after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) violated his dignity and liberty one last time and arrested him Wednesday at the Atlanta Airport on the charge of illegal re-entry, a charge predicated on alienage. Mark is a U.S. citizen.

In the language of the DHS Mark was "ordered removed" as a noncitizen on December 9, 2008. That's a bureaucratic euphemism for what really happened: Mark's government kidnapped him, rendered him stateless, dropped him off in Mexico, and four months later, after he was kicked out of Mexico to Honduras, and from Honduras to Guatemala via Nicaragua, bought him a Big Mac before arresting him again in the United States.

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