"It's a dangerous law": Sheriff Dupnik reacts to "papers please?" provision
Reporter: Marcelino Benito
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A federal judge's decision on Wednesday allows police, while enforcing others laws, to question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally. Thursday, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik reacted to the latest legal decision.
"Police officers are taught to profile behavior, not people," Dupnik said. "And this kind of law forces us to profile people."
It's just one of many problems Dupnik has with SB1070, but he says his department will not profile. 9OYS reporter Marcelino Benito asked Dupnik how his officers will avoid profiling. He replied, "That's what they're trained to do. You're talking about things, not feelings. You don't go based on how people look."
On a day to day level, the Sheriff says Wednesday's decision will not change their enforcement plans because they've been following federal law all along. But this state law will open the department up to lawsuits.
"They've made life a little difficult for us," Dupnik said. "It puts an officer in an impossible situation."
Despite the challenges, the "show me your papers" provision creates. Dupnik says his department has a proven track record.
"We have years and years of experience doing this, and we have not had one complaint about profiling," he said.
But mistakes can happen out in the field, especially when enforcing what Dupnik calls a very "dangerous" law.
"Officers are human beings even when they try their best sometimes their judgment is different from what I preferred their judgment be," Dupnik said. "But on the whole I think our officers do a very good job and use good common sense out there."