Thursday, April 15, 2004
Madness: A few months ago the story of a few Mexican nationals (read: illegal immigrants) was all over the local news. Apparently there had been a report of some shoplifting at a local J.C. Penney store and, depending on who you believe, either J.C. Penney employees, or a cop on his own, stopped and talked to a Latino family who may have been involved.
It turns out that no one in the group was involved with the shoplifting, but two of them were in the country illegally. The Border Patrol was called and they were deported.
Yesterday, the Flores family filed a claim (the first step toward a lawsuit) for $1.5 million against National City for "emotional distress."
Emotional distress? The next time a cop looks at me funny I'll try the same tactic -- and if he stops me and asks a question or two watch out, that's big money.
The real outrageous part of this story, however, is National City Mayor Nick Inzunza's response.
"As far as us calling the Border Patrol, our police officer at the time was not prohibited from doing so," Inzunza said. "We've taken aggressive steps in changing our ordinances so this doesn't occur in the future.
"We just feel we should do everything we can to keep this from happening again.
"I understand what the Flores family is trying to do," Inzunza added. "I would probably do the same thing."
The Police Department has revised its policy
Tomorrow, if National City police officers, in the normal course of their duties, stop a couple of Arab men who have no identification, no passport, no visa, the National City police will just let them go about their business.
So, in a post-9/11 world, the National City Police Department will not be calling the Border Patrol should they find someone in the country illegally. (Recall that some of the 9/11 hijackers were living in the San Diego area.)
I was under the impression that police were "to serve and protect," yet National City and its politicians are more worried about political correctness than protecting the American people.