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.”

Home » News » Albuquerque News » BernCo Sheriff’s Office sued for racial profiling


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

taboola desktop

1
NM startup on cusp of DNA sequencing breakthrough
ABQnews Seeker
Technology to rapidly read long strands ... Technology to rapidly read long strands of DNA with molecular-level precision
2
Cannon airman found dead in home
ABQnews Seeker
Details surrounding the death are under ... Details surrounding the death are under investigation
3
Dean Hansel Burley receives vote of no confidence
ABQnews Seeker
Provost will consider faculty's position Provost will consider faculty's position
4
Montgomery speed cam MIA; balloonists block neighborhood
ABQnews Seeker
City temporarily removed Montgomery camera after ... City temporarily removed Montgomery camera after vandalism
5
Balloons greet visitors from near and far on fiesta's ...
ABQnews Seeker
Clouds couldn't damper balloon launch, excitement ... Clouds couldn't damper balloon launch, excitement
6
Court upholds dismissal of criminal charges under ethics law
ABQnews Seeker
AG calls on lawmakers to tighten ... AG calls on lawmakers to tighten state's anti-corruption statute
7
College players sweep pro tennis tourney at UNM
ABQnews Seeker
One day after two UNM Lobos ... One day after two UNM Lobos won the doubles title of Albuquerque's ITF 15K pro tennis tournament, a Texas Tech player won the singles ...
8
American Airlines plane evacuated at Albuquerque Sunport
ABQnews Seeker
FBI officials in Albuquerque did not ... FBI officials in Albuquerque did not disclose nature of security threat
9
APD investigates 'suspicious death' on West Side
ABQnews Seeker
Person found dead outside Discount Tire Person found dead outside Discount Tire