Migrant farmworker arrest video released - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Migrant farmworker arrest video released

Burlington, Vermont - September 19, 2011

A new twist in the controversy surrounding a state police traffic stop and the arrest of two undocumented farmworkers who were passengers in the car.

Vermont State police released cruiser cam video of the stop to WCAX News Monday night, following a public records request.

Trooper Jared Hatch pulled over the pickup on Interstate 89 near Middlesex last week because the driver was speeding. He ticketed the driver, who is an American citizen, then arrested two Mexican workers who were passengers because they have no documentation.

The arrests sparked protests that day at the Middlesex State police barracks and at the Border Patrol facility in Richford where the two workers were later held. Workers' rights advocates say the trooper violated the state's new bias-free policing policy. They say the only reason he even asked the passengers for documentation was because of how they look, not because they were doing anything wrong.

The trooper asked the passengers about 30 seconds into the stop if they are related. He asked for identification and where they are from several times in the first two minutes of the stop and pressed the driver for info.

The traffic stop prompted the governor to call for an investigation to see if the state's bias-free policing policy was violated. State Police are conducting an internal investigation, too.


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