Tucson has a supposedly liberal city government — which okayed the brutal crackdown on Occupy Tucson six years ago — and a seemingly genuine good-guy, community-policing chief of police, Christopher Magnus, the gay former chief of police of mostly black Richmond, California.
One of my neighbors just passed her citizenship test. She’s over 50, so the government charged her a mere $1200 to do it, rather than the standard $1700.
Yes, they charge people $1700 to become citizens. We’re talking about people who are mostly low income and an asset to society. How wrong is that?
Three weekends in a row my neighbor and/or her kids were racially profiled on First Avenue. Stopped in the university district for bullshit reasons. Nothing stuck. They were stopped for Driving
While Mexican. (In contrast, I’m an old long-haired redneck with peeling bumper stickers all over the tailgate of my 20-year-old truck — when I bought it I immediately de-choloed it for fear of racial profiling — and I haven’t been stopped in decades.)
The reasons? Apparent lack of insurance (wrong) on two occasions. On one of them, my neighbor, a 56-year-old woman living here for the last 20 years, who just passed her citizenship test this past week, was cuffed and stuck in the back of a squad car. For total bullshit reasons. They let her go after 15 minutes, but can you imagine the trauma? Can you imagine how she felt and how her 21-year-old son felt seeing his mom cuffed and tossed in the back of a squad car?
Now, my neighbors avoid the university district. They stick to Stone for the north-south corridor. At least there they stand a decent chance of avoiding racist cops.
Can you imagine how you’d feel seeing your mom treated in such a manner. Can you imagine it?
Yeah, imagine it — imagine seeing your mom in cuffs, treated so disrespectfully, and you’ll start to get what it’s like being black or Mexican in Tucson, in America.
And, yeah, as you’ve probably guessed, there’s no way on the Tucson PD site to contact Chief Magnus directly.
I did eventually find a complaint form on the TPD site and did fill it out, essentially setting myself up as a target. I think there might be as much as a 25% or 30% chance that the TPD will do something about the racial profiling rather than just put a bulls eye on my back and fuck me over, but I’m so angry about this that I’ll take my chances.