John Quinones Goes Undercover for Racial Profiling Scenario


Possible Racial Profiling

All day, whites and Latinos alike give comfort to our Mexican-American actors. One woman, Candice Coker, approaches the actress playing the Latino mother and offers words of support after the guard leaves the scene. Later, Coker tells Quinones that she's never given a thought to the consequences of the anti-immigration law. But seeing the impact racial profiling has on a family made her think twice about the legislation.

In another scene, the sad face of Bella, our actress playing the little girl, causes a man named Manny Aparicio to spring into action.

"There's a time and a place, that ain't it. When you got a kid, you don't play that game," says Aparicio to the security guard.

When we decide to tell Aparicio that he is on "What Would You Do?" he tells Quinones, "When you are profiling people because of how they look -- that's not what this country is about, you know?"

He also points out that Quinones himself is Hispanic and could face profiling, which makes us wonder, what would happen if Quinones went undercover?

We decide to find out. Quinones dons a baseball cap and sunglasses, and goes into the restaurant along with our other actor, David Pinon, playing victims of the security guard's harassment.

"Speak English at all? You guys from Mexico?" the guard asks Quinones and Pinon. "You have some papers or anything like that?"

Upon hearing the guard's remarks, customer Neil Gago launches out of his seat. With quiet authority, he points to the door and says to the guard, "Go. Go. Go!"

Our actor obliges and leaves, but lingers outside the restaurant and pretends to call Border Patrol. Inside the restaurant, a young woman watches the guard warily and then gives him the finger. After a few minutes, she leaves to confront him, and is followed by another woman named Mayra Penunuri. The two women fearlessly confront the security guard outside, telling him to go home. Penunuri stamps her foot in anger and fires off a few cuss words in Spanish before going back inside to finish her dinner.

When Quinones reveals himself to Penunuri, she laughs heartily and tells him that among other things, she called the guard a "Gringo." She also said that it wasn't important that she didn't know Quinones -- she just thought it was important to defend him.

One after another, people step up and chase the guard out of the restaurant. Our most amazing intervention occurs when one woman decides she needs to do more than just yell at the guard -- she needs to act. She devises a plan to help Quinones and Pinon flee the restaurant to avoid possible deportation.

Over two days of filming, we were amazed to see dozens of people stepping up when witnessing racial profiling in action. All kinds of people intervened -- in fact, the majority were non-Hispanic. Despite the fact that the anti-immigration law seems popular in Arizona, we didn't see any evidence of it in this Tucson restaurant.

Click here to watch the full episode.

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