The Department of Justice agrees with North Carolina activists: Sheriff Terry Johnson is violating the rights of communities of color in Alamance County.
Today in a press release, the DOJ announced the findings of their multi-year racial profiling investigation of Johnson’s department. Last year, the investigation ran into difficulties when Johnson allegedly attempted to deny the DOJ access to his personnel, claiming that this violated his rights. That move resulted in a lawsuit against him on top of the investigation. Leading the charge were Fairness Alamance, a group fighting hard to defend their community and the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina.
Johnson, hardly one to bow to political correctness, went on an anti-Hispanic rant (VIDEO link) to fellow conference-goers at an event held for the FIRE Coalition in South Carolina, one of three FIRE Coalition events which he is known to have attended. In 2007, Johnson gave his most honest appraisal of Mexicans to the Raleigh News & Observer: “Their values are a lot different—their morals—than what we have here…In Mexico, there’s nothing wrong with having sex with a 12-, 13-year-old girl…They do a lot of drinking down in Mexico.” Last year, the Center for Immigration Studies was quick to call the now fruitful investigation part of the DOJ’s “harassment tactics”—for expert tactical analysis, maybe they ought to consult Sheriff Johnson.
This weekend, Johnson and with-him-as-always-is-Garth fellow NC sheriff Sam Page of Rockingham will head down to El Paso, TX for a FAIR-sponsored Border School, which already stirred up some controversy for Johnson. As the Southern Poverty Law Center pointed out, FAIR misled its sheriff attendees into believing the school was approved by the federal government. Rather than use High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) funding, as FAIR suggested would pay for the school, Johnson and Page both got approval from the federal government to use Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section (AFMLS) of the DOJ. Maybe the DOJ ought to reconsider—since they are suing him and all—about paying the way to El Paso for someone who obviously won’t use his “training” well.
On a recent FAIR field call in which they discussed getting more sheriffs to attend the conference, FAIR informed its state-level contacts that sheriffs are encouraged to wear their uniforms during a borderland walkabout. While FAIR claimed that this was intended for their safety, it’s more likely that FAIR is eager for a high-powered photo op. Nothing says safety like walking through the desert in leather shoes and khakis, after all.
Hopefully, a trip to El Paso will help distract Johnson from the mess he left back home. Then again, he won’t be learning all that much.