RI ACLU Sues Police for Arresting Lawbreakers

The State Police of Rhode Island have found themselves in the cross-hairs of the ACLU affiliate in that state. The ACLU has filed a lawsuit alleging that the State Police violated the 14th Amendment rights of a bunch of Illegals who were being transported in a van. The van was stopped for a minor traffic violation and during the stop a state police officer asked the passengers for ID and became suspicious of a group of non-English speaking men who could not provide the requested ID.

A police officer stopped these men and became suspicious and he did his job. The Supreme Court has ruled that officers may ask passengers for ID and the United States Code allows local police officers to check the immigration status of anyone of whom they are suspicious. Yet, when this officer did his job he became the subject of an ACLU campaign of disinformation. The police officer was basically called a bigot in that he was accused of racial profiling. Just because these men were Hispanic looking does not mean they were NOT breaking the law and to suggest that their skin color played a part is ridiculous. Did the fact they were Hispanic play a part? Probably but does it make it profiling? Maybe, but only in that a group of non-English speaking Hispanics being transported in a van through town and unable to produce ID fits the profile of how Illegals are transported.

This whole idea that somehow the rights of these people under our Constitution were violated is amazing. I understand that the 14th Amendment gives equal protection under the law and even though it was written to prevent discrimination of blacks after slavery had ended the Supreme Court has (incorrectly in my opinion) indicated that the Amendment applies to everyone who is here regardless of whether they are here legally or not. The Supreme Court has also interpreted this Amendment to mean that any child born here is a citizen when that was not the original intent and that is not how it is written. The words “Subject to the jurisdiction thereof” have been misapplied by the courts and the Amendment has been interpreted differently than its original meaning.

Back to Rhode Island. The argument that the officer profiled is specious. A police officer is allowed to ask all passengers of a vehicle stopped for a traffic violation, for ID. The officer is permitted to document who is in the vehicle for the purpose of providing accurate accounts of the stop and names of witnesses if the matter goes to court. If a person does not have ID the officer is allowed to ask for other documents or ask for names and is allowed to verify the information given. The Supreme Court ruled on that very issue in Maryland v Wilson:

Although the court emphasizes the danger to the police officer, the authority to order a passenger from a vehicle is authority granted as a matter of course and, in our judgment, does not depend upon whether the officer felt threatened by the presence of the passenger. Our conclusion is that Wilson is an example of the relaxation of some of the more inflexible search and seizure rules that were stated in earlier decisions. In reasoning by analogy, we conclude that if an officer has the right to order a passenger out of a vehicle on a routine traffic stop, the officer surely has the right to ask that passenger for identification in order to complete his or her record of the arrest and to note the potential witnesses to that arrest. We also require that the duration of any detention of a passenger be reasonable in view of the circumstances existing.

A police officer’s job is to enforce the law. Not only must he or she arrest lawbreakers, the officer must provide the necessary evidence to support his or her actions at trial. In order to do his or her job correctly, an officer must determine the identity of the witnesses to the incident. We hold the securing of names of witnesses is part of the scope of a traffic stop and, if done within the duration of that stop, any evidence obtained as a result is admissible against the driver or a passenger. [my emphasis] State of Kansas v Michael Jones

The officer in Rhode Island certainly falls within the guidance given by the Supreme Court. He stopped a vehicle for a violation and he asked the occupants for ID. When they could not produce ID he asked for other documents which they could not produce. Since he could not verify who they were he became suspicious that they were here illegally so he detained them until their identities could be verified. In the course of this they were determined to be illegals. Now, the ACLU is suing the Rhode Island State Police in an effort to intimidate them for doing their jobs. This lawsuit is the result of the ACLU not being satisfied with a State Police review of the situation that cleared the officer.

The people of Rhode Island should sue the ACLU for filing a frivolous lawsuit and the officer should sue for defamation of character. Perhaps if entities started throwing lawsuits back at the ACLU they would not be too quick to pull the trigger in their desire to allow all things illegal.

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One Response to “RI ACLU Sues Police for Arresting Lawbreakers”

  1. virginia says:

    I agree, people need to stand up.