MALDEF

Brutal Police Beating in Prince William County, VA

(Click a second time if video does not play)

When law enforcement undertakes the role of the border patrol, the result can be ugly. Agueda Dominguez knows how nasty this can get. On February 1, 2009, Agueda Dominguez, a Salvadoran immigrant who has lived here legally for eleven years and has a valid driver’s license, was pulled over.

But when she was pulled over, Dominguez, who doesn’t speak English and did not have her driver’s license with her, says she gave the officer her green card and her social security card. But a simple request for an interpreter for the ticket for a burned out headlight turned ugly when Dominguez, who doesn’t speak English, refused to sign the ticket without an interpreter to explain it to her.

The officer’s reaction to Dominguez’s request for an interpreted is outrageous. Not only was Ms. Dominguez spared with pepper spray and thrown to the ground, but Ms. Dominguez alleged that the Manassas Park Police banged her against the ground several times, leaving cuts and bruises visible on Ms. Dominquez’s arms, leg and face.

Her brother corroborated what he saw as he pulled up to the scene:
"The floor...she hit the floor like an animal...she's not an animal, she's human. It's hard for me when I see he hit my sister on the floor," said Jose Dominguez, victim's brother.
Interestingly, Ms. Dominguez’s attack comes at a time when Manassas law enforcement agencies have been given the authority to check the immigration status of anyone arrested in the city. Perhaps this act of hate is a sign of what is to come when law enforcement agents usurp the role of the border patrol, or maybe this is a simply an issue of police brutality against Latinos. Whatever the case may be, something must be done to stop the ever increasing use of violence against immigrants and Latinos.

To learn more about Ms. Dominguez’s brutal attack, click here and here.

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund