Today, Cuentame — a project of Brave New Films — posted a video interview with Phoenix police officer Paul Dobson’s reaction to Arizona’s new immigration law, SB-1070. Though the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (the union representing Phoenix officers) “lobbied aggressively for the law,” not all of its members think it’s a good idea. In Cuentame’s video, Dobson expresses his own opposition to the law and how he believes it will affect his ability to fulfill his duties:
This [SB-1070] law will make me feel like a Nazi out there. [...] How I feel about SB-1070 is I have a great deal of contempt for it, I am very emotional about it. This law is pure and simple a racist law. It is focused on Latinos. I would not be able to show any discretion whatsoever under SB-1070. I am required to arrest that person and take them to jail. As a law enforcement officer I am required to serve and protect. Under SB-1070, I know that people will not call officers in case of a real emergency. [...] It violates our calling to serve and protect.
Dobson isn’t the only officer on the Phoenix police force that is against SB-1070. David Salgado is a 19-year Phoenix police officer who has sued the city and the governor asking that the law be blocked. “Before the signing of this bill, citizens would wave at me,” said Salgado. “Now they don’t even want to make eye contact.” Tucson police officer Martin Escobar has also filed a lawsuit, saying there is no such thing as “race-neutral” criteria for him to determine “reasonable suspicion” that someone is in the country illegally.
Meanwhile, the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police (AAOP) has said SB-1070 is “problematic and will negatively affect the ability of law enforcement agencies across the state to fulfill their many responsibilities in a timely manner.” The president of the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police — an association of sworn law enforcement officers — has also expressed concerns that the bill “will bankrupt our city.” “What’s going to happen is you’re going to fear the police…they’re [immigrants] going to shy away from us instead of coming forward with information,” stated Sgt. Bryan Soller in a local interview.