According to the spokesperson for the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office (ASCO), Sheriff Terry Johnson will not consent to an agreement with the Department of Justice to revise its unconstitutional racial profiling practices. The announcement was made the day before Johnson heads down to the Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR) Border School, where he’ll patrol the Border with other sheriffs in uniform, as was encouraged by the sponsoring organization. He will accompany Sheriff Sam Page of Rockingham, another prominent supporter of anti-immigrant police agreements with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Johnson called Latinos ‘taco eaters,’ according to the federal report released earlier this week. After a two-year federal racial profiling investigation, the DOJ has requested for the ASCO to agree to a plan to end illegal practices or face action (most likely in the form of a lawsuit) from the federal government. ICE has cancelled Alamance County’s participation in the 287(g) program, reducing the number of participating NC counties to six. ACSO will continue to use the Secure Communities database, but its full use will be restricted to federal officials.
Even if the ACSO were to agree to the DOJ program, immigrants in the county are still at risk of being ensnared in the federal programs and subject to a hateful culture embraced by the sheriff and his deputies. The DOJ investigation results claimed that “The discriminatory conduct we observed is deeply rooted in a culture that begins with Sheriff Johnson and permeates the entire agency.” In 2007, Johnson was quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer as saying “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.”