"The officer separated me from my family"- Immigration activists speak out about October 8th protests

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"The officer separated me from my family"- Immigration activists speak out about October 8th protests

By Liz Kotalik. CREATED Oct 22, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Enraged community members poke out at a Tucson City Council meeting, demanding the Tucson Police Department make serious changes in light of a traffic stop-turned-protest that has sparked state-wide controversy.

On October 8th, during a routine TPD traffic stop, police found out the occupants of the car did not have immigration papers.

TPD called Border Patrol, and a crowd of more than 100 people, including members of a church across the street, gathered around Border Patrol's Truck.

Although protesters said their demonstration was peaceful, police did not see it that way, and they pepper sprayed the crowd.

Many who were there on October 8th, including those undocumented immigrants in the car, went to the City Council meeting demanding action.

"The only thing that I ask is that the police perhaps be a little more discrete," said one of the men TPD stopped. "They [should] give us a ticket and have us pay for it. Not to have these separations from our family."
"That evening," another man arrested said, "the officer separated me from my family...my beautiful family that I have brought here to you so you can see my children."
A woman who was pepper sprayed also addressed the Council: "What happened on October 8th is a direct display of the violence that takes place when you have this collaboration between local law enforcement and military."
Some of the demands people had tonight were: They want TPD to stop calling Border Patrol and ICE in circumstances like the one on October 8th, they do not want prolonged detentions, and they do not want TPD to interrogate passengers,
There was no vote tonight, but the Mayor said he will take all of tonight's comments into consideration.
As for those who Border Patrol took into custody that night, they are awaiting deportation hearings.
TPD has commented on this case, saying they were following state law by calling Border Patrol, and that using pepper spray was necessary in this situation.


Liz Kotalik

Liz Kotalik

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Liz Kotalik is so proud to work in her home state of Arizona with her KGUN9 family. She anchors the 7 a.m. morning show "GMT Extra" on the CW Tucson every weekday, and also reports for later newscasts.