Tucson cop foresees racial profiling

2010-07-21T00:00:00Z Tucson cop foresees racial profiling Arizona Daily Star
July 21, 2010 12:00 am

Three months ago, Officer Martin Escobar was an obscure 15-year veteran on the Tucson Police Department patrol beat, working nights on the south side.

But after the April 23 signing of SB 1070, Escobar filed a federal lawsuit - one of the first - against the law.

"I didn't do this for me," said the 45-year-old married father of two.

Escobar said he did it for Hispanic residents who he believes will be racially profiled.

He said he did it for his fellow officers, who he believes will find policing more challenging under the new law; one of his five siblings is also a Tucson police officer.

And he said he did it for his Mexican-born parents, legal residents who immigrated to Tucson.

"My mom and dad speak with accents. They could be racially profiled," said Escobar, a naturalized citizen who grew up in South Tucson.

He said the law will inspire fear within the Hispanic neighborhoods and make policing more difficult. He fears Hispanic residents will report fewer crimes and be less willing to emerge as witnesses.

"There was a great cause and it's not about me," Escobar said. "I just want people to stand up when something is wrong."

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