Shumlin unveils bias-free policing policy - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

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.

Related Stories:

Trooper in controversial stop cleared; policy still in question

Vt trooper cleared in migrant farmworker traffic stop

What does cruiser camera reveal about controversial stop?

Migrant farmworker arrest video released

Migrant farmworker arrests prompt internal police investigation

Did Vt police target migrant farmworkers?

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