Durham Sheriff defies judge and turns over detainee to ICE

Proving Durham's voters made the right choice in the Primary:

The Durham County sheriff turned a man over to Immigration and Custom Enforcement officers on Saturday despite a Durham Superior Court judge’s request that law enforcement bring the 35-year-old Honduran to his courtroom on Tuesday. Judge Orlando Hudson had scheduled a hearing for Tuesday after an attorney for Jose Hernandez, a Durham-based window installer, filed a petition accusing Sheriff Mike Andrews of unconstitutionally detaining her client.

Hudson said Saturday he did not issue a formal order demanding Hernandez’s presence on Tuesday. But the judge said Curtis Massey, an attorney for the sheriff, had assured him that Durham deputies would get Hernandez there.

It was only just a few weeks ago when (outgoing) Sheriff Mike Andrews tried to justify his cooperation with ICE by saying he was actually "helping" the undocumented immigrant population, by turning over criminals and keeping ICE from "searching" for them in the community. But as we see in this case, his deputies racially profiled this guy and grabbed him as he left his bank:

Hernandez was arrested April 20 after he went to the bank to deal with everyday business. While at the ATM outside the bank, he noticed a man in a car nearby who looked like a detective. That same man came inside the bank and lingered in the background while Hernandez took care of several transactions.

As Hernandez was leaving, the man came up to him and asked if he could see his ID. After they stepped outside, two uniformed officers arrived and further questioned Hernandez as he went to his car to get his passport. During the encounter, officers checked to see whether there were any warrants on file against Hernandez, who is known also as Jorge Andres Ledee Cintron.

Two DWI charges from 2013 showed up, along with a charge of failing to appear in court on the DWI charges. Hernandez was booked into the Durham County jail.

Thus exposing one of the most dangerous developments in our criminal justice system, the undermining of "Probable Cause." By their own admission, those deputies only discovered the outstanding DWI-related warrants after accosting this man. Then it became the warrant that wagged the probable cause dog. But it's not supposed to work like that. This is 4th Amendment stuff, people. And I don't give one little shit that undocumented aliens are not protected by the US Constitution. That's another tail wagging the dog.

The actions of those LEOs were unconstitutional, before they were "washed clean" by the results. It's almost as bad with bonafide US citizens, when cops use a "broken taillight" or other lame excuse for pulling somebody (usually brown in complexion) over and subsequently searching or harassing said individual. Or you know, shooting them if they don't behave in some narrowly-defined "proper" way. The only way to correct this racial profiling, absent Legislation that will likely never get passed, is for judges to crack down on officers who disregard that 4th Amendment guideline. Which actually might have happened in this case, leading me to wonder if that was the whole goal in Andrews turning this guy over. Not to punish the detainee, but to avoid courtroom scrutiny of his own unconstitutional activities.

Once again, I'm not a lawyer and don't play one on television. If you don't agree with my assessment, please feel free to comment and give your perspective. I see this as a Constitutional crisis. Not just "in the making," but already in action.



That's (kind of) on the Judge

He didn't issue a formal order for the Sheriff's Department to keep secure and bring the detainee to the court, he just took the word of the Dept's lawyer when he promised to do it.

But if nothing else is done, that lawyer should be dealt with by the NC Bar for taking an active role in that deception.