Daniel T. v. Otero County, New Mexico
In September of 2007, the Otero County Sheriff and a number of deputies conducted a series of immigration raids against the Latino residents of Chaparral, New Mexico. The raids included warrantless invasions of private homes, stops of pedestrians and drivers without probable cause, and filing of false charges against Latino residents of Chaparral.
On behalf of five Latino families, MALDEF and the ACLU of New Mexico sued the Otero County Sheriff’s Department for civil rights violations committed during the raids. The plaintiffs sought damages and guarantees that the Sheriff’s Department would refrain from such raids in the future.
In May 2008, the case was settled after the Sheriff’s Department agreed to revise substantially its Operational Procedures to ensure that local police will protect the rights of all Latinos and focus on public safety for the entire county. The Department also agreed to pay damages to the families who brought suit.