Federal prosecutors say a North Carolina sheriff accused of illegally targeting Latino drivers also shared a bloody video game with employees where players shot Mexican children, pregnant women, and other “wetbacks” who attempted to cross the border.
After a year-long investigation, the Department of Justice found that Alamance County Sheriff Terry S. Johnson sent his subordinates a link to a game “premised on shooting stereotypical Mexican figures, including pregnant women and children, as they attempt to cross the U.S. border.”
“Blood splatters on the screen as the figures are shot, and the final screen of the game shows how many ‘wetbacks’ one has killed,” the government motion said.
Johnson and his staff are accused of a long list of racist policies including ticketing, arresting and searching Latinos for more often than others.
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“After a stop is made, Latinos are 250 percent more likely to receive a citation, 50 percent more likely to face arrest, and 20 percent more likely to be searched than comparable drivers from other ethnic backgrounds. Infra at 12. And Latinos comprise 37 percent of drivers stopped at ACSO’s checkpoints despite making up less than 9 percent of the driving population,” the motion stated.
The DOJ says several deputies and supervisors shared the link to the violent game along with racist jokes.
“Sergeant Darryl Myers and Lieutenant Wesley Anderson each forwarded an email joking that when Davey Crockett saw ‘hordes of Mexicans’ approaching the Alamo, he asked ‘are we having landscaping done today?’” the court filing said.
In another email training officer Richard Longamore complained about temporary visas being given to foreign nationals when they are victims of violent crimes like rape, incest and torture.
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Johnson is not charged with a crime and the federal court has no way to remove an elected official from office.
Johnson is currently seeking re-election to another four-year term this November.
American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina staff attorney Raul Pinto says Johnson should settle the federal suit and take any recommended sanctions.
“The abhorrent and unconstitutional practices outlined in this motion should not be tolerated in our state and cannot be allowed to continue,” Pinto said. “All residents of Alamance County deserve fair and equal treatment from their law enforcement officers.”