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>Spanish speaking US citizen detained on claims of false ID in Denver

04/02/2011

>Lawsuit claims DPD officers committed racial profiling 
c/o Denver Daily News

[Jose] Sanchez was visiting his girlfriend in July 2010 when he stepped outside to smoke a cigarette and talked in Spanish with an acquaintance. Police officers approached Sanchez and “demanded that Mr. Sanchez identify himself” and provide an ID, according to the ACLU. When Sanchez said the ID was in the apartment and he could go get it, police officers instead went inside without getting the consent of Sanchez’ girlfriend, who was in the shower, says the ACLU.

Police located Sanchez’ photo ID in a backpack and declared it was a fake, accused Sanchez of having multiple pieces of fake ID, arrested him and took him to jail, according to the ACLU. However, the ACLU claims that the officers could have quickly checked the validity of the card with Homeland Security. [BTC – I’m flagging down this sentence. DHS, a federal agency, should not be the authoritative fallback position in local police affairs. Nor should any citizen bear instant burden of proof of identity in an aggravated police situation without probable cause of wrongdoing.  I don’t know if this author is putting words in the mouth of the ACLU or if the local chapter mistakenly believes DHS is somehow a higher authority than dealing with their local PD for routine police work. This sentence lends airs of guilty-until-proven innocent.  We do not have to answer to federal powers when we walk outside our doors for non-criminal mundane reasons. It doesn’t resonate “typical” of the ACLU.  Regardless, the Denver PD clearly invoked police might-is-right towards the spanish speaker or someone simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.]

“The Denver Police Department has authorized its officers to enforce an ordinance that prohibits the carrying of false identification. But the department has failed to train its officers to recognize valid government-issued photo ID cards,” Silverstein said in a statement. “That’s a set-up for more false arrests and illegal detentions like this one and a recipe for the continuing deterioration of police-community relations.”

DPD Spokesman Sonny Jackson said police received a complaint about the Sanchez incident last summer. An investigation was started, but the person complaining did not cooperate with the investigation so both internal affairs and the Office of the Independent Monitor declined the case, according to Jackson.  :::MORE HERE:::

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