Officer of the City of Buckeye, Arizona Police Threatens to Kill Immigrant at Traffic Stop
Teodulo Sanchez was on his was on his way home after work on Friday, when a Buckeye Police officer asked him to stop the car for no clear reason. He was immediately asked by the officer to turn off the car and continued his commands with a terrifing threat; “if you do something here, I will kill you”.
Mr. Sanchez is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who was placed in deportation proceedings after a fake attorney filed the wrong immigration paperwork when he was petitioned by his U.S. Citizen father. He was detained in the past for several months in an Arizona detention center event though he has no criminal record. He was given an Arizona drivers license while he is in deportation, and insisted on showing it to the officer several times. A few minutes later, another officer showed up and allowed him to leave with no warning or ticket.
It is still unclear why he was treated with such violence towards him, but him and his family feel like their civil rights have been violated. They continue to seek answers from the Buckeye Police Department, but they haven’t had any luck.
The voices begin about nine seconds in. Here is a rough transcript of the video, including the translation of the portions in Spanish:
OFFICER: Put your hands where I can see them. Hands up, right here. Turn the car off. What’s your name?
MAN: [Inaubible].. Sánchez
MAN: [Inaubible].. Sánchez
OFFICER: Let me see the keys. Weapons? You have weapons?
OFFICER: No weapons in the car? Keep your hands where I can see them. Don’t move.
MAN: What happened?
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?
This insident does raise serious questions the officer’s behavior, especially after key points of the state’s controversial SB1070 law were struck down by the Supreme Court in 2012. This past July, the ACLU filed its second legal claim against the Tucson Police Department.
Buckeye, Arizona, is a western suburb of Phoenix with a total population of about 55,000 people, of which 49% are white and 39% are Latino. It is not exceptable that our community has to put up with such violent behavior from our own law enforcement.