Mono Grand Jury Clears Deputy of Misconduct Allegations, Racial Profiling

Mono Sheriff Rick Scholl said allegations of misconduct, racial profiling, and harassment by a Sheriffs Deputy had gone to the Grand Jury for Investigation. Scholl released a copy of the final report which basically finds that the deputy in question did nothing wrong. mono_courthouse_10-08

The report says the Grand Jury received a complaint from a representative of an Hispanic family in the Bridgeport area. Their investigation describes a family of a mother, father, older son and two younger children. The report says that both parents drove without a license and the son had been placed on probation after an arrest for burglary and receiving stolen property. The Grand Jury report describes several encounters between the deputy and the family members most of the contacts involved driving without a license and probation checks. The report says the deputy warned the parents several times not to drive without a license.

The jury viewed video tapes of the deputys encounter with the husband and wife over driving without a license. The jury found that the deputy was consistently professional, calm and polite. The report goes on to describe the deputys attempts to get valid identification documents from the husband. Officers discovered both the husband and wife had false identification documents purchased in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The report also said that the couple were told that they could retrieve their impounded van if they provided drug information to MONET. The report said that they did this toward an expected dismissal of charges against them, however, no information was given, according to the jury.

About a month later, the son of this family was stopped by a deputy for speeding and was found to be driving under the influence which violated his probation. He was arrested. The husband and wife were later charged with forgery of documents.

The family eventually complained that the deputy had engaged in abusive, threatening and illegal behavior toward the family, had harassed the Family into providing copies of their false work documents, had pressured the Family and, in particular the Wife, to provide drug information, and had stopped by the Familys home more than 15 times to threaten the Family that he would make things very bad for them if they did not provide drug information.

In its findings, the Grand Jury does not condone driving without a license, registration and insurance, does not condone forged identification and work documents. The jury found no basis for the alleged threats. Based on video and audio tapes, the jury found the Deputys behavior was not abusive, threatening, harassing or intimidating in any way. The report concluded that The Grand Jury feels strongly that the choice of any person to immigrate illegally to the United States rests with that person and does not confer on that person the right to consistently break the law without suffering the legal consequences.

The Jury recommended that the Sheriffs Department vigorously enforce all laws, equip patrol cars with video recorders, and use audio and/or video recorders to record interactions with members of the public. The jury also recommended that illegal immigrants pursue steps to become permanent, legal residents and/or U.S. citizens.

 
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