Arizona police are under fire after video of an officer threatening to kill an immigrant during a routine traffic stop emerged.
Teodulo Sanchez captured the incident on video last week in Buckeye, Az. You can hear the officer ask Sanchez if he has any weapons or “armas” before threatening to kill or shoot him if he moved.
Sanchez later told Buzzfeed that he began recording so that “people could see what happens, they’re killing too many people in America for nothing these days.” The video was then uploaded onto prominent undocumented activist Erika Andiola’s Facebook page.
A translation provided by Latino Rebels can be read below.
OFFICER: Do you have a license?
MAN: Yes, sir.
OFFICER: Show me the license right now. If you do something, I will kill you right here. Do you understand me?
MAN: [Spanish here is a bit inaudible] Yes, I am recording you too.
OFFICER: Put your hands up here. You don’t have weapons in the car? Are you sure? Are there any in the car?
MAN: No, if you like, I can get out of the car.
OFFICER: What’s here then?
MAN: I come to work. These are my tools.
OFFICER: Just tools? Are you sure?
MAN: Am sure.
OFFICER: Ok. Don’t get out of the car. Stay there. If you move, I will shoot you right here. Do you understand me?
MAN: Yes. Do you want to check my ID (inaudible)?
OFFICER: Where are you coming from?
Sanchez says he was never told why he was pulled over. Police, however, say Sanchez was stopped because he “was observed to have committed a traffic violation.”
From Think Progress:
The police said that they received “reliable information” that a Honda similar to the vehicle that Sanchez was driving was “allegedly carrying a large amount of illegal narcotics with a possible armed occupant.” The police report indicated that the driver of another car that they had been following was found to be armed with a weapon.
The police department has since apologized for the choice words, but insist that Sanchez was not complying with the officer’s demands and “continued making furtive movements in the vehicle.”
“The Buckeye Police Department acknowledges the officer used a poor choice of words, and does not condone the statement made during the stop,” according to a statement released half an hour before Sanchez met with the police on Sunday afternoon.
Immigration advocates who say Arizona police officers pull over members of the Latino community to use the anti-immigration state law known as “show me your papers,” condemned the behavior of law enforcement officers and their racial bias.
A statement released by Andiola’s organization DREAM Act Coalition stated, “It is not [acceptable] that our community has to put up with such violent behavior from our own law enforcement.”
You can watch the video above.
SOURCE: Think Progress | VIDEO SOURCE: YouTube