SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont sheriff determined that one of his deputies did not violate the department’s fair and impartial policing policy when he detained a farmworker and called federal immigration authorities.
Chittenden County Sheriff Kevin McLaughlin released a report Friday saying his deputy acted properly in the Nov. 22 traffic stop that resulted in Mexican citizen Luis Ulloa being placed in federal immigration detention.
According to McLaughlin’s report, Deputy Sheriff Jeffry Turner pulled over a speeding vehicle on Interstate 89 in South Burlington. When Turner asked the four occupants for identification, two did not respond and one said the driver was “here illegally.”
Turner suspected he was witnessing a case of human trafficking so he contacted immigration authorities. Those agents then took the 21-year-old Ulloa into custody, according to McLaughlin.
Migrant Justice, an immigrants rights group, has said Ulloa did nothing to warrant the deputy’s attention. The group held a protest outside the sheriff’s office in early December.
A Migrant Justice spokesperson released a written statement saying the group plans to seek its own independent investigation and “unequivocally denounces the conclusion that Deputy Turner’s conduct did not violate department policy.”
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