County Police Chief Criticizes Departments That Check Citizenship
ST. LOUIS (KMOX)-Two days after the Supreme Court ruling on Arizona’s controversial immigration law, St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch is criticizing local police departments that check the immigration status of people they stop.
Speaking at a press conference responding to the ruling, Fitch said that St. Louis does not have an illegal immigrant problem.
He said that when local departments ask for papers, they’re making their communities more dangerous, “When we engage in that kind of behavior, we really degrade the relationship that we’ve established with our communities to come forward and tell us when there are problems in their neighborhood or there are domestic violence issues in their family.”
Fitch used an example involving the murder of a relative, witnessed by an immigrant, “Wouldn’t you want that immigrant to step forward to law enforcement and share this information, and not have a fear that they’re going to be deported. That’s the relationship we’ve established between law enforcement and the immigrant community in St. Louis and we want that to continue.”
Fitch stopped short of calling for local departments to stop the practice, saying they have the right to run their departments by their own rules.