How many times have you heard this one from police: “I shot at you/threatened to shoot at you/beat you up because you/your car matched a description we were given for ____?” This kind of excuse is to profiling and police brutality what “I smelled marijuana” is to illegal search and seizure. And it’s pretty ingrained…so ingrained that even when they know they’re being video-taped, cops can’t help themselves from doing it.
In this clip recently released by the family Arizona resident Teoludo Sanchez, an Arizona cop threatens Sanchez with death if he “moves.” Not once, but twice. The video is in Spanish…here’s the translation:
OFFICER: Do you have a license?
SANCHEZ: Yes, sir.
OFFICER: Show me the license right now. If you do something, I will kill you right here. Do you understand me?
SANCHEZ: [Spanish here is a bit inaudible] Yes, I am recording you too.
OFFICER: Put your hands up here. You don’t have weapons in the car? Are you sure? Are there any in the car?
SANCHEZ: No, if you like, I can get out of the car.
OFFICER: What’s here then?
SANCHEZ: I come to work. These are my tools.
OFFICER: Just tools? Are you sure?
SANCHEZ: Am sure.
OFFICER: Ok. Don’t get out of the car. Stay there. If you move, I will shoot you right here. Do you understand me?
After the video was released, the police came back and said that this was part of a “20 minute stop,” and that had the whole video been seen they would have noticed Sanchez’s “refusal to obey” and “furtive movements inside the car.” Also, the officer supposedly had “reliable information” that a Honda just like Sanchez’s was carrying “a large amount of narcotics.”
They also say that he was out on bond pending an immigration status hearing. And that he is…because an incompetent lawyer filed the wrong form when Sanchez was petitioned by his U.S. citizen father.
So…immigrant waiting for a deportation hearing. Car happens to look like one reportedly carrying drugs? Yep…sounds legit to us. But, the Arizona cops do apologize for the officer’s “poor choice of words.”
“The Buckeye Police Department acknowledges the officer used a poor choice of words, and does not condone the statement made during the stop.”
So, there it is. real sorry about threatening to kill you a few times for no reason.
You have to wonder how this would have turned out had Sanchez decided to “stand his ground”after being issued multiple credible threats, and it hadn’t been on video.
“Gentle Arizona police officer murdered by illegal, coke-smuggling Mexican thug.”