Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer Preps Police for Scotus Ruling

Jun 14, 2012 1:07pm

Arizona’s Gov.  Jan Brewer wants to be sure her law enforcement officers are ready for an upcoming Supreme Court decision.

Within the next two weeks the Supreme Court will decide the fate of some key provisions of Arizona’s strict immigration law, SB 1070, and she hopes the justices will reverse a lower court that blocked four provisions from going into effect.

One section is referred to as the “show me your papers” provision, and it requires law enforcement officers to ask a  person they’ve stopped for  papers if the officer has a “reasonable suspicion” the person is in the country illegally.

The Obama administration challenged the law just after it was signed, and a lower court sided with the administration and blocked the provision from going forward. The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case at the end of April and the federal government asserted that SB 1070 interferes with existing federal law.

Immigration groups are also challenging the law in the lower courts arguing that it will lead to racial profiling.

The Arizona Police Officers Standards and Training Board, charged with providing training guidelines for Arizona’s police officers, developed a video and training materials that were issued to officers after the law was signed two years ago.

Gov.  Brewer has issued an executive order mandating that the materials are redistributed to law enforcement officers by the end of business tomorrow.

A spokesperson for the governor said yesterday,” Gov. Brewer thinks this is an appropriate time to revisit the training and make certain that all Arizona law enforcement officers are informed on how to implement and enforce SB 1070 without violating civil rights or the Constitution.”

In her executive order Brewer required that officers are trained on what constitutes “reasonable suspicion.”

According to the order, the materials will include a DVD and a training manual that will include “an explanation of documents law enforcement officers can use to determine whether identification presented to them is sufficient to presume a person is not an unlawfully present alien.”

The materials make clear, according to the executive order, “that an individual’s race, color or national origin alone cannot be grounds for reasonable suspicion to believe any law has been violated.”

Brewer stipulates that if the Supreme Court reverses the lower court and allows any of the provisions to go forward that the training materials will be supplemented within 30 days of the Supreme Court’s decision.

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