He showed his Mexican driver’s license and his international driver’s license, a document the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration recognizes as providing legal authority to operate a vehicle.
Despite having those documents, Arellano was handcuffed and taken to the Frederick County Adult Detention Center on charges he didn’t have proper identification.
His friends drove back to Anne Arundel County and returned to Frederick County with enough money to post his $2,000 bail.
As Arellano stood outside the Frederick County courthouse in March, he said he believes he was stopped because he is Hispanic. He thinks police wanted to find out if he was in the country legally.
“(The officer) found an excuse to stop me,” Arellano said.
How many people get stopped for having too many air fresheners, he asked.
His passengers, all of whom are Hispanic, were also asked to show identification. All three had Maryland driver’s licenses and were not arrested.
Now, as the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office works toward a partnership with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, local leaders fear Hispanic residents may become targets of unnecessary traffic stops.
The sheriff’s office has applied to participate in 287(g), a program that allows local law enforcement officers to request proof of citizenship in certain circumstances. For example, officers can ask for identification when conducting traffic stops or arresting criminal suspects.
Through the program, police can also begin deportation procedures for people they find to be living in the United States illegally.
Guy Djoken, president of the Frederick branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said members have questions about how the authority will be used. While they support deportation of illegal immigrants who have committed crimes, they want to ensure the civil rights of Hispanic residents are not violated.
Some people seem to confuse being Hispanic with being an illegal immigrant or a criminal, Djoken said.
THe NAACP and ACLU are going to be painting this as racism..wrong. It’s about illegal aliens. None of them may be in the country illegally and if that is the case the Sherriff’s office needs to relase this man with an apology.