BernCo Sheriff's Office sued for racial profiling - Albuquerque Journal

BernCo Sheriff’s Office sued for racial profiling

A woman who was stopped three times in less than a month by Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office deputies has filed a lawsuit against the office and two deputies, saying that she was racially profiled.

Sherese Crawford, 38, wasn’t issued a traffic citation any of the times she was stopped. Crawford, who is black, lives in Richmond, Va., and was pulled over three times during a 28-day period in spring 2017 when she was working in Albuquerque as part of her job with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Deputies Leonard Armijo and Patrick Rael are defendants in the lawsuit.

Felicia Romero, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office, said the traffic stops did happen, but she declined to comment further.

All the traffic stops took place on Interstate 40 when Crawford was driving from the Cibola County Correctional Center to the ICE Field Office in Albuquerque. The lawsuit describes all three of the stops:

• On April 5, 2017, Armijo stopped Crawford, checked her license and rental car information, and let her leave without a warning or citation.

• On April 15, 2017, Rael stopped Crawford because, he said, she was tailgating, and he let her leave without a warning or citation.

• On May 3, 2017, Rael stopped Crawford again and said she was driving too slow. The deputy then walked back to his patrol car and left.

“Selective enforcement and the targeting of persons based solely on race does violence to our promise of equality; it is the ‘New Jim Crow,’ ” the lawsuit says.

The suit was filed in state District Court and seeks damages, as well as a policy change to prevent the Sheriff’s Office from racially profiling.

“These three incidents … clearly show that BCSO has an unconstitutional policy of racial profiling African-Americans,” said Laura Schauer Ives, ACLU of New Mexico cooperating attorney.

“It is impossible to imagine that these three stops in close succession with no warning or citation were motivated by anything other than our client’s race,” she said. “This kind of biased policing not only humiliates and frightens those whom it targets, but it divides communities and seriously damages public trust in law enforcement.”


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango


taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
One-on-One with Edith Cherry - Career architect and educator
ABQnews Seeker
"I've probably been the luckiest person ... "I've probably been the luckiest person in the world." That's the perspectiv ...
2
Dion’s to open location in Farmington
ABQnews Seeker
Dion's will soon be landing in ... Dion's will soon be landing in the Four Corners region with the opening of a Farmington location early next year, according to the company. ...
3
Ready or not, it's another disruption: 10-digit dialing
ABQnews Seeker
New rule needed to prepare for ... New rule needed to prepare for 988 national suicide hotline
4
Nob Hill Music survives economic hardship by selling old-school ...
ABQnews Seeker
60% of store's stock is vinyl ... 60% of store's stock is vinyl records
5
NM native poised to step into CEO job at ...
ABQnews Seeker
From Silver City paperboy to one ... From Silver City paperboy to one of state's highest-profile positions
6
Early voting expands across metro area
2021 city election
20 locations open in Bernalillo County 20 locations open in Bernalillo County
7
CYFD chief vows agency will protect tribal adoptions
ABQnews Seeker
Vigil, in first speech, also promises ... Vigil, in first speech, also promises to boost transparency, accountability
8
Road rage suspected in ABQ's latest homicide
ABQnews Seeker
Shooting linked to crash near Montgomery ... Shooting linked to crash near Montgomery and Morris NE
9
Suspect arrested in slaying in North Valley last year
ABQnews Seeker
Calls, texts to victim found on ... Calls, texts to victim found on alleged shooter's phone