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ACLU-NH Sues Northwood Police Department Over Immigration-Related Stop

The New Hampshire ACLU is filing a federal lawsuit against the Northwood Police Department for what they say was an illegal immigration stop based on racial profiling. 

According to police reports, back in late September officers in Northwood noticed three Hispanic men walking out of a gas station.

The officers stopped the men and asked for ID. One of them, Johoani Velasco Perea, the plaintiff in this case, gave officers a North Carolina driver’s license and explained he was a DACA recipient.

The ACLU’s complaint says officers then continued to hold Perea for over two hours while they contacted ICE agents to verify the immigration status of all three men.

Henry Klementowicz with the ACLU says the officers had no probable cause to stop the men in the first place, and he argues they likely did so because of their race.

“It’s reasonable to conclude that the reason that he was stopped was because he was Hispanic," he says.

This marks the second lawsuit filed by the New Hampshire ACLU against local police departments regarding immigration stops in the last few months.

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Jason Moon is a senior reporter and producer on the Document team. He has created longform narrative podcast series on topics ranging from unsolved murders, to presidential elections, to secret lists of police officers.
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