Monday, April 26, 2010

"Hola officer!"

Much of the furor surrounding the enactment of SB1070, Russell Pearce's anti-immigrant police state bill, including my own, has stemmed from a worry that the language of the bill will allow/compel law enforcement officers to ethnically profile Arizona's Hispanic residents and visitors ("Where are your papers!").

Language has been put in the bill that purports to bar such profiling, but the rest of the measure was written is such a way (i.e. - saying that LEOs can stop people and question their immigration status based on "reasonable suspicion", without explicitly defining that term) as to render the language barring profiling utterly meaningless.

As such, there is a "trust" gap that has developed between the law enforcement and the non-nativist communities.

Anyone who isn't a hardcore R nativist is worried that they could be stopped at any moment by a LEO and if they aren't carrying proof of citizenship/legal entry into the US, they will be arrested.

While there are certain to be a few Arizona LEOs who abuse the new law (like those who work for Joe Arpaio, Paul Babeu, or in Chandler, for starters), most of Arizona's law enforcement officers are honest, hardworking men and women who are dedicated to serving and protecting the community.

To let them know that we appreciate what they do for us, and that we won't hold the actions of a few bad apples against all of them, when you encounter a police officer, greet them with a warm and hearty

¡Hola Officer!

This idea was inspired by something that I read on Facebook earlier today. I tried to track down the originator to give full credit, but was unable to find it again. My thanks to the originator, and apologies for not finding the original reference.

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