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Shumlin unveils bias-free policing policy

Montpelier, Vermont  - November 4, 2011

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has rewritten the policy for state police interaction with suspected illegal aliens.

The update in the so-called bias-free policing policy follows a controversial traffic stop in September.
Gov. Shumlin and the Department of Public Safety Friday announced a revised policy to strengthen bias-free policing to include direction regarding immigration status.  

During the traffic stop -- captured by a cruiser cam video -- Trooper Jared Hatch asked the two Mexican passengers for identification, and eventually turned the men over to federal agents.
Critics said that was racial profiling and a violation of state policy that encourages law enforcement not to inquire about the immigration status of otherwise law abiding individuals.

A review by the State Police Advisory Commission concluded that Trooper Hatch did not violate the existing policy. Governor Shumlin says that policy has now been strengthened. It states that:

  • Busting illegal aliens is not a law enforcement priority of the Vermont State Police.
  • No one should be questioned solely for determining their immigration status. 
  • No criminal investigation should be started based only on the suspicion of illegal status.

The one exception is in the area near the Canadian border, if a trooper believes an illegal border crossing has just occurred.

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What does cruiser camera reveal about controversial stop?

Migrant farmworker arrest video released

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Did Vt police target migrant farmworkers?

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