Group Sues Border Patrol over Alleged Racial Profiling…in Ohio

Friday, November 21, 2014
Ohio Border Patrol station at Sandusky (photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Law students in Ohio have sued the U.S. Border Patrol to force the disclosure of arrest records that they claim will show agents have racially profiled Hispanics in an area where few of them reside.

 

With the help of a Toledo law firm, the group from Ohio State University’s law school filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to compel the agency to release documents that could reveal profiling by the Border Patrol.

 

The focus of the controversy is the Border Patrol’s Sandusky Bay Station, which has disproportionately targeted Hispanics since 2008, the plaintiffs say.

 

Kara Joyner, a sociology professor at Bowling Green State University hired by the plaintiffs, says 85% of those arrested by Sandusky Bay agents have been Hispanic, even though the minority group makes up only 3% of the local population.

 

Emails obtained as a result of the lawsuit show that Cory Bammer, who’s in charge of the Sandusky Bay office, has used racial slurs to refer to Latino workers.

 

The office is in charge of guarding the border with Canada along Lake Erie from Cleveland to Toledo.

 

An earlier lawsuit filed by 14 individuals and two workers-rights groups accused Sandusky Bay agents “of embracing a culture of racism and using ethnic slurs,” Encarnacion Pyle wrote at the Columbus Dispatch.

-Noel Brinkerhoff

 

To Learn More:

Alleging Profiling, OSU Students Help Sue Border Patrol (by Encarnacion Pyle, Columbus Dispatch)

Federal Lawsuit Exposes Racial Profiling By Border Patrol In Ohio (by Keith Rushing, Rights Working Group)

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