New Law Affects Police and Citizens

The recent Arizona legislation requiring citizens to have identification on them sparked a firestorm of controversy between the rights of people and the police’s ability to do its job effectively. Many people believe the law would unfairly attack minority groups such as Mexicans currently living in Arizona. Other groups think it becomes a welcome move to keep people who do not belong here out of the U. S. and not become a drain on the sagging economy. My feeling is that the new law is not racist for the reason that cops are sworn to uphold the law, regardless of their personal beliefs.

They do not know when they stop someone what they are capable of doing. Cops must be vigilant in understanding the situation and reacting as the situation arises. Not having cops get hurt or killed is a high priority. Now, there are police officers who are trying making sure the issue does not become a full-scale fiasco. Two police officers mentioned in the Los Angeles Times were unhappy about Border Patrol 2 the law because of the emotional damage it would inflict. One officer, Martin Escobar, said that the law will do far more harm than good relating to race relations.

(Esquival 1) “It’s going to break down everything I’ve worked to let people know that officers are good, that we’re here to protect you,” said Escobar, who as a teenager was questioned by federal authorities about his legal status. (Esquival 1) The issue surrounds whether police will need or have probable cause to stop someone whom they think are not from this country. How are they going to know by looking if someone is living legally in the U. S.? What reason will be used for setting up the question?

Even police are baffled as to what they are going to do when the subject presents itself. This is not police officers being profilers; it’s about officers doing their job right without being accused of being bigots. Escobar thought it would be tougher for people to come forward to report crimes or request help if it mean the officers would ask for papers. Would than mean the people inquiring for assistance are subjected to deportation if they come forward? That would be nuts and not what the officers should be concerned with in doing their jobs.

(Esquival 1) Profiling is a large part of the problem. The perception that Arizona’s new law gives public safety officers the right to freely search anyone looking Mexican or an illegal is legitimate. What needs to b done is educating officers on what constitutes a reasonable reason to conduct a search or request for identification. The U. S. Attorney General recently provided his views on the topic. Attorney General Eric Holder told ABC news recently that the law itself has concerns but is not racist in its intent.

Border Patrol 3 Instead, the public needs to be better informed of the law and the implications. “I don’t think it’s racist in its motivation. But I think the concern I have is how it will be perceived and how it perhaps could be enacted, how it could be carried out. I think we could potentially get on a slippery slope where people will be picked on because of how they look as opposed to what they have done, and that is I think something that we have to try to avoid at all costs,” Holder told ABC News. (Topper 2010)