The U.S. Border Guard regularly conducts racial profiling, and three black police officers file a lawsuit
Accusations of racial profiling at the U.S. border are nothing new: many reports event Has made headlines, including the detention of Iranian-born people last year Traveler.
What is more unusual is how these allegations are now issued from within the agency that monitors the US border, and these allegations come from the border officials themselves.
They were trapped in a lawsuit against the US government by three police officers at the Michigan-Ontario border crossing.
These officers are all black, all veterans of the U.S. Army, and are employed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency at the Blue Water Bridge Ferry between Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario.
Their lawsuit coincides with Publish data from thousands of arrest records The American Civil Liberties Union says this proves blatant racial discrimination on the borders of Michigan.
Micah Williams, one of the three police officers who filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Eastern Michigan a few weeks ago, said: “I have seen it with my two eyes.”
“Travelers of color [are] Subject to more scrutiny. “
What are the litigation charges
The three officials filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Department of Homeland Security, and will require the court to award exemplary and punitive damages for an unspecified amount.
Their allegations have not yet been tested in court.
The border agency has not filed a lawsuit, and a spokesperson said its policy is not to comment on pending litigation matters.
The plaintiff stated that the legal complaint recounted several anecdotes, in which white colleagues were more harsh on people of color from Canada than white people.
One example in the court documents involved 17 American citizens, all black, returning home from Toronto in a pulled SUV. “[They] The lawsuit claimed: “This is the respect and insult received because of their race…”
Another suspected incident involved a black family in Texas. The black family accidentally turned to a bridge leading to Canada and was stopped while turning the car to the south.
The lawsuit stated that the border police called the local police station when they discovered that the driver lacked a valid driver’s license. This was not the way to handle similar incidents with white drivers.
Then, a supervisor threatened to arrest the driver unless someone came to the border to drive home. This was once again called an anomaly by the lawsuit.
One of the plaintiffs, Jermaine Broderick, said in an interview with CBC News: “The management tried to arrest this person for work beyond management. He has no arrest warrant and no criminal record.”
“There is no reason to try to put this man in jail.”
‘Stop that black guy’
Another family was stopped on their way out of the United States. It was an American family on the bridge. They left the country and headed north for Canada.
The lawsuit accused a boss of claiming that the family looked suspicious and stated that this opinion was based solely on the fact that they were blacks in luxury cars.
“I was instructed by a senior military officer to’stop that black man’,” a 13-year veteran of the agency with 8 years of work experience at the Port Huron border crossing, Johnny Grace said in an interview.
“[He was] Refers to a family crossing the border. “
Grace said stopping a black family for no reason caused him harm, because when he saw the frightened child in the car, he thought of his own child.
The lawsuit alleges that after the incident, a senior officer at the border told the officers that they did a good job.
When asked if he saw Canadians being treated unfairly, Grace told CBC News: “Absolutely.” He said that dark-skinned people from all ethnic groups tend to be subject to more scrutiny.
“Unfair review… Whether it is a Canadian or a US citizen. Generally speaking, it is Brown.”
The plaintiff’s request to leave the border was denied
The law complained that black employees themselves were discriminated against at work.
Grace said that even if he objected, senior officials still asked to stroke his hair. He said that a senior employee repeatedly asked him how to find a job in Port Huron instead of Detroit, which has a much larger black population.
According to the lawsuit, during last year’s “Black Life Issue” protest, a colleague joked that Grace could wear casual clothes and infiltrate the protest.
It claimed that the colleague told Grace: “Tell the protesters that your name is Indike Mfufu,” using the African pronunciation.
Jermaine Broderick said that as an immigrant from Jamaica, he served in the US military for 14 years, so seeing this discrimination bothers him.
“that [service] Yes [apparently] Not good enough,” he said in an interview.
“The shade of my skin tone has caused me to be censored inappropriately.”
Broderick said he asked to leave the border crossing but was refused. After a dispute with a supervisor mentioned in the lawsuit, Grace filed a union complaint last year, which was later eliminated by his regular work.
In an interview, he said: “take the position.”
Research data from Michigan
At the same time, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan said it has statistical evidence that travelers are treated differently on the basis of race.
It sued to obtain and has published thousands of federal documents for seven years, including more than 13,000 CBP arrests Record records from 2012 to 2019 In Michigan.
Report based on ethnicity data On people detained by the CBP law enforcement department released by the American Civil Liberties Association (ACLU), it was found that 96.5% of the people stopped had dark, dark brown, light brown, medium brown, medium or black skin.
Only 3.5% of people have light or medium skin.
The American Civil Liberties Union report says these numbers are far out of proportion, not only for the population of Michigan, but also for the demographics of people who were eventually arrested for illegally crossing the border.
People of Latin American descent include Less than 20% The report said that the state’s foreign-born population as a percentage of the total population, but 85% of non-citizens arrested by Michigan came from Latin America.
Since U.S. border officials exercise jurisdiction within 160 kilometers (100 miles) of any international waterway, they Can prevent travelers from going anywhere The furthest point from the Canadian border to the state.
The ACLU report began with the story of a legal American resident, Arnulfo Gomez, who was arrested for pulling down the exhaust system of his car.
The report said that although he had a valid Michigan driver’s license, he was forced to sit on the side of the road for half an hour when asked about him and his wife.
The report quoted Gomez as saying: “There is no reason for him to drag us down.” “As soon as he saw that we were brown, he followed us.”
He has never been fined for a loud exhaust.