Things That Matter

Two Women In Montana Were Approached By A Border Patrol Agent While At A Gas Station For Speaking Spanish

Two women were detained last week by a U.S. Border Patrol agent after he overheard them speaking Spanish at a gas station in Havre, Montana. Ana Suda and Mimi Hernandez, both legal residents, were purchasing milk and eggs and were chatting in Spanish when the patrol agent began questioning them. Suda began filming the incident and caught the patrol agent saying, “The reason I asked you for your ID is because I came in here and saw that you guys are speaking Spanish, which is very unheard of up here.”

Here’s the video of the border patrol agent telling two women they were questioned and detained because they were “speaking Spanish, which is very unheard of” in Montana.

The women paid for their items and then were asked to give their ID’s to the patrol agent for identification. One of the women can be heard saying that their detainment was racial profiling because they were speaking Spanish.

“I was so embarrassed being outside in the gas station, and everybody’s looking at you like you’re doing something wrong,” Suda told The Washington Post. “I don’t think speaking Spanish is something criminal, you know?”

The video has caught the attention of civil liberties groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who are questioning the incident.

Havre, Montana, is about 35 miles south of the U.S.-Canada border. The city is within the 100-mile zone that Border Patrol can use to conduct immigration checkpoints. Yet according to the ACLU website, border patrol agents “cannot pull anyone over without ‘reasonable suspicion’ of an immigration violation or crime.” According to The Washington Post, Suda plans to take legal action against the agency.

The incident sparked outrage on social media.

U.S. Customs & Border Protection sent the following statement to a local Montana News Station regarding the detainment.

“Although most Border Patrol work is conducted in the immediate border area, agents have broad law enforcement authorities and are not limited to a specific geography within the United States. They have the authority to question individuals, make arrests, and take and consider evidence.”

This story comes less than a week after New York attorney Aaron Schlossberg went on a rant about people speaking Spanish.

Many are questioning the reasoning behind the detainment and if this is just another example of racial profiling in the United State that has become quite common recently. Last week a New York attorney went on a racist rant that went viral after he was angered by employees and customers speaking Spanish. Hopefully this doesn’t become the new norm in America where speaking multiple languages should be celebrated not deemed a threat.


READ: The New York Attorney Who Went On Rant Against Spanish-Speakers Cowers From Media

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Sheriff Joe Has Lost His Race To Get Back His Old Job But How Was He Able To Run At All?

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Sheriff Joe Has Lost His Race To Get Back His Old Job But How Was He Able To Run At All?

Ross D Franklin / Getty Images

America’s ‘toughest sheriff’ and blatantly racist law enforcement officials has been defeated in race for sheriff. But what’s shocking is just how close the race was for a man who was arrested and convicted of racially profiling Latinos only to then be pardoned by Trump.

And it appeared that Arpaio had zero remorse for his controversial and damaging policies. In the run up to the election, he vowed to continue his controversial policing tactics with policies that included housing county jail inmates in tents and regular immigration sweeps. 

Running to get back his old job, Joe Arpaio has lost his primary bid for Maricopa County Sheriff.

America’s self-confessed “toughest sheriff”, Joe Arpaio, was narrowly defeated in his bid to win back the sheriff’s post in metro Phoenix that he held for 24 years before being voted out in 2016 amid voter frustrations over his taxpayer-funded legal bills, blatant racism, his penchant for self-promotion and a defiant streak that led to his now-pardoned criminal conviction.

In the latest count from Tuesday’s primary, announced on Friday, Arpaio lost the primary to his long time aide, Jerry Sheridan. Mr. Sheridan had secured about 37 percent of the vote in a three-way race, compared to Mr. Arpaio’s 36 percent — a difference of 6,280 votes out of more than 420,000 cast, with only 2,385 ballots remaining to be counted.

For Mr. Arpaio, 88, the loss on Tuesday was his third electoral defeat in four years. After losing his 2016 re-election bid, he suffered a resounding loss in a three-way Republican primary for a U.S. Senate seat in 2018.

Mr. Arpaio said in an interview on Friday that this year’s race was his last run for public office, adding that his age and record as sheriff were working against him.

“They were tired of me and tired of my office,” he said.

So who is the Republican who won the primary?

Voters instead backed Jerry Sheridan, Arpaio’s former chief deputy, who promised to revive many of the sheriff’s racist and anti-immigrant policies but without the showmanship.

Mr. Sheridan was found guilty of civil contempt of court and a judge referred him for criminal contempt charges, though prosecutors later said the statute of limitations prevented them from bringing charges. A related complaint with the state board that certifies police officers languished until Mr. Sheridan’s certification expired this year.

In November’s general election, Sheridan will face current Sheriff Paul Penzone, the Democrat who beat Arpaio four years ago. And most political observers say Penzone is the favorite in the general election.

His campaign put out a statement after Arpaio’s defeat.

“With the primary race for Maricopa County Sheriff officially concluding tonight, Arizona Democrats reaffirm our commitment to protecting the Latino community from the likes of Joe Arpaio’s former number two, Jerry Sheridan, who was found in contempt of court and will double down on Arpaio’s disturbing legacy that embarrassed our state and cost taxpayers millions of dollars,” said Matt Grodsky, spokesman for the Arizona Democratic Party. 

“Arizona’s largest county is better off under the leadership of Sheriff Penzone, a leader with a legacy of accountability, committed to building community trust,” he added. “We know voters will stick with him this November.”

Arpaio had long harassed Latinos and made life a living hell in Arizona for migrant communities.

Credit: Ross D Franklin / Getty Images

Arpaio rose to national prominence thanks to his blatantly racist, anti-immigrant, and illegal policies as ‘America’s toughest sheriff.’ During his tenure, he housed inmates in tents, forced them to wear pink underwear and brought back chain gangs. His department conducted sweeps of undocumented immigrants in Hispanic communities and detained Spanish-speakers under suspicion of being in the country irregularly. 

Then in 2011, Arpaio was convicted of deliberately violating an injunction halting his practice of detaining migrants who are not suspected of having committed a state crime. Only federal officers have jurisdiction over immigration. He faced six months in jail but was benefited by President Donald Trump’s first presidential pardon.

This year’s primary by Arpaio exploited racial tensions and pushed a tough-on-crime message amid a nationwide movement to stop police abuses against people of color. His rebuke from Republican voters could be an ominous sign for the president, who is trailing Biden in the polls in Arizona.

Arpaio is a close ally of Trump’s and was one of his first supporters in 2015, and his fall from grace mirrors the struggle that the president faces among suburban Republican voters in Arizona, a traditionally conservative state that is seen as up for grabs in this year’s presidential election.

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Racists Caught On Video Shouting “White Lives Matter” And Giving Nazi Salute To Couple

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Racists Caught On Video Shouting “White Lives Matter” And Giving Nazi Salute To Couple

Izzeee.e / Instagram

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the country has been grappling with racial inequality and police brutality – trying to figure out how to move forward into a country that knows Black lives matter.

However, it also seems that racist encounters are on the rise, or at least they’re more commonly being caught on camera. Another white couple, this time in California, has gone viral for their racist attack on a couple after an alleged road rage incident. The encounter, all of which was caught on camera, was enough proof to land the racist couple behind bars on hate crime and vandalism charges.

A man gave a Nazi salute and a woman shouted “white lives matter” in an encounter with a couple in California.

A nasty racist encounter in Torrance was caught on cameras as a Black couple was abused at a red light by a white man and woman yelling “Only white lives matter!”

Itzel Lopez and her boyfriend were sitting at a red light in Torrance, CA, when a white couple stormed out of their pickup truck. That’s when Lopez started recording. In the video, a white woman can be seen standing on the passenger side, flipping dual middle fingers at Lopez and her boyfriend, who is Black. She yells “white lives matter (expletive)” and then “only white lives matter.”

The man, who was standing on the driver’s side, fluttered his hand in a wave then yelled “white power!” and made a Nazi salute. Then he grabbed a shovel and slammed it against the car as Lopez’s boyfriend backed up and sped away.

Lopez, who posted the video to Instagram, wrote: “Today on my 25th birthday I was a victim of racism and so was my boyfriend who is black. We were being harassed for miles.”

For Lopez, 25, the firsthand experience of hate was jarring. “I experience racism in a extremely traumatic way,” she wrote in the Instagram video’s caption.

“We were just in shock. We didn’t know what was going on,” Lopez told KTLA.

The racist couple have since been charged with a hate crime and vandalism of property.

Credit: Torrance Police Department

Not long after driving away, Lopez and her boyfriend found the couple’s truck outside a Starbucks and recorded the license plate. The following day they reported the incident to the Torrance Police Department. In a news release the department said the crime started as a “road rage situation.” 

And thanks to the video, the white couple, Gregory and Rachel Howell, both 29, were arrested on hate crime and vandalism charges, police said. In an interview with KTLA before the arrest, Lopez said she wanted justice.

“I don’t want them to just go freely and continue to do this to someone else,” she said.

As the U.S. confronts racial inequality, racist incidents and hate crimes have been increasingly caught on camera.

Sadly but not surprisingly, racist incidents like this are far too common across the country. And as the U.S. grapples with mass protests against racial inequality since the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, it seems that incidences like this are on the rise.

In June, a self-identified Ku Klux Klan leader was charged with a hate crime after driving through peaceful protesters in Richmond, while in Wisconsin, a school district called for hate crime charges against a white woman who spat on a Black student during a peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration.

A report from the Census Bureau found these hate crimes and other racist interactions have taken a toll on the mental health of African Americans, with the rate of those reporting significant anxiety and depression jumping from 36 to 41 percent.

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