The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Jose Pacheco is one of seven defendants charged with participating in the hate killing of Marcelo Lucero, and the only minority among the group. He and five others have been held in jail for nearly a year awaiting trial in the closely watched case.
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A federal racial-profiling trial ended with the testimony of the assistant police chief, who denied that he has ever singled out Hispanic motorists for traffic citations.
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Why is it a bad idea for local law enforcement agencies to act as immigration cops? Because it undermines public safety.
William J. Bratton, chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, explains why in this op-ed essay that ran last week in the Los Angeles Times. He also explains his decision not to have the Los Angeles Police Department participate in the program known as 287(g), which gives local law enforcement agencies the powers of federal immigration agents by entering into agreements with Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.
“Americans want a solution to our immigration dilemma, as do law enforcement officials across this nation,” Bratton writes. “But the solution isn’t turning every local police department into an arm of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”
Bratton brings to the immigration debate a few things the immigrant-bashers lack, namely credibility and a track record. As he prepares to step down as LAPD chief, he is drawing praise from officers, politicians and the public for reducing crime — in a city with a huge immigrant population.
“Keeping America’s neighborhoods safe requires our police forces to have the trust and help of everyone in our communities,” he writes. “Yet every day our effectiveness is diminished because immigrants living and working in our communities are afraid to have any contact with the police. A person reporting a crime should never fear being deported, but such fears are real and palpable for many of our immigrant neighbors.”
Bratton notes that the Police Foundation, a law enforcement research group, issued a report earlier this year concluding that when local police enforce immigration laws, it “undermines their core public safety mission, diverts scarce resources, increases their exposure to liability and litigation, and exacerbates fear in communities that are already distrustful of police.”
The former leader of a violent racist skinhead group will serve nearly 3½ years in federal prison on a racketeering charge.
Jeremy Robinson, 37, was sentenced on Oct. 15 after pleading guilty to a felony charge of interstate transportation in aid of a racketeering enterprise, according to court documents. Though Robinson did not deal drugs, he tried to help his cousin distribute a large amount of marijuana. In court documents, Robinson acknowledged renting a car for another man to bring marijuana from Texas to Indiana. The man, a courier in the cousin’s large-scale drug business, picked up the load but failed to get far before he was pulled over by Texas police, who found 90 pounds of marijuana in the trunk. Robinson also let his cousin use his tattoo shop in Valparaiso, Ind., to receive shipments of marijuana from Texas.
Robinson was a founder of the now-defunct Outlaw Hammerskins, the group whose challenge in 1999 to the nationwide dominance of Hammerskin Nation signaled the beginning of the end of any unified skinhead movement. The Outlaw Hammerskins emerged after the Dallas-based leadership of Hammerskin Nation ordered an Indiana chapter of Northern Hammerskins to remove the “colors” (insignia) of a wayward member. Several Northern Indiana Hammerskins proceeded to beat the offender with a pool cue and threatened to burn off his Hammerskin tattoos with a blowtorch. The Dallas leaders ordered them to turn in their patches. A dozen or so of the Indiana crew left the Hammerskins to form their own renegade group, the Outlaw Hammerskins. ( continue to full post… )