ACLU conducts TPD traffic stop investigation - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

ACLU conducts TPD traffic stop investigation

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TUCSON - American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona recently conducted an investigation, revealing records showing Tucson Police Department, in many cases, are extending stops unlawfully to investigate individuals immigration status. 

"There was a Supreme Court decision just last year that said, even extending a stop seven or eight minutes to conduct an unrelated investigation violates the constitution," said ACLU Staff Attorney, James Lyall.

ACLU submitted the public records request several months ago. They identified over 100 cases that show to be unconstitutional from 2014 and 2015, and is also prohibited by Tucson Police's own policy. 

"They're required by SB1070 to make a reasonable attempt to verify status, but the Supreme Court and other courts have made a very clear, that does not give them then authority to extend the stop they need to issue the ticket. Just to investigate status, that is unconstitutional," said Lyall. 

In response to the investigation, The Department of Homeland Security said, "DHS is reviewing the letter. U.S. Customs and Border Protection continues to focus its enforcement resources in adherence to Secretary Johnson's priorities for immigration enforcement, focusing its resources on public and national threats."

The ACLU also submitted these findings to Tucson Police. News 4 Tucson received the following statement from Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus:

"I received a copy of a letter from the ACLU dated May 2, 2016, regarding our department's enforcement of SB 1070. I plan to give thoughtful consideration to the issues raised in the letter with an eye toward identifying any opportunities to improve our training, policies, and practices. Information in the ACLU letter will be of value in our evolving efforts to retain and further strengthen a trusting relationship with all members of the community, as we endeavor to fairly enforce the law. I look forward to a previously set meeting with ACLU staff and community members next week to discuss our efforts moving forward." 

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