Justice Department Documents Discriminatory Practices by Alamance Sheriff’s Office in Latest Court Filing

March 4, 2014 12:00 am

Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

In Motion for Summary Judgment Filed Yesterday, U.S. Justice Department Says Alamance County Sheriff’s Office Intentionally and Disproportionately Targets Latinos in Violation of Federal Law

March 4, 2014

CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org

RALEIGH – The U.S. Department of Justice yesterday filed a motion for summary judgment in its civil rights lawsuit against the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office (ASCO) in which it asks a federal court to rule quickly in order to stop “ACSO’s unlawful discrimination” against Latino residents.

The motion for summary judgment expounds on the Justice Department’s previous claims that ACSO, under the direction of Sheriff Terry Johnson, fosters a culture of anti-Latino bias among its deputies, including alleged use of racial slurs, disproportionate traffic stops and arrests, and examples including “an ACSO captain sending his subordinates a video game premised on shooting Mexican children, pregnant women, and other ‘wetbacks.'”

“The abhorrent and unconstitutional practices outlined in this motion should not be tolerated in our state and cannot be allowed to continue,’ said Raul Pinto, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina (ACLU-NC) Legal Foundation. “After receiving similar complaints about the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office for years, we continue to urge Sheriff Johnson and his department to immediately cease their discriminatory practices and comply with the U.S. Justice Department’s requests at once. All residents of Alamance County deserve fair and equal treatment from their law enforcement officers.”

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina in December 2012, charges that ACSO, under the direction of Sheriff Johnson, “intentionally discriminates against Latino persons in Alamance County by targeting Latinos for investigation, detention and arrest, and conducting unreasonable seizures and other unlawful law enforcement actions in violation f the United States Constitution and federal law.”

The motion for summary judgment is available online at acluofnc.org.

Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.

The Latest in Immigrants' Rights

ACLU's Vision

The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.

Learn More About Immigrants' Rights

Immigration Rights issue image

The fundamental constitutional protections of due process and equal protection embodied in our Constitution and Bill of Rights apply to every person, regardless of immigration status.