HANNIBAL, Mo. (AP) — A Hannibal police officer was finishing up mundane paperwork on a quiet Saturday morning when Manuel Cazares walked into the station, blood splattered on his hands and shoes. Cazares put his hands out, crossed them, and told the officer to arrest him. “I killed two people,” he allegedly said.
But some in this Mississippi River community of 17,000 best known as Mark Twain’s hometown aren’t just outraged by the violence. They also question why Cazares was in Hannibal at all. Cazares admitted after his arrest that he is an illegal immigrant from the Mexican state of Michoacan. The 32-year-old had several run-ins with law enforcement before the homicides, but officials had never questioned his legal status.
You See, to check on the immigration status of a repeat violent offender would be racial profiling. At least to the police in Hannibal. But to others NOT checking is simply insane. EVERYONE who is arrested for a violent crime should have their papers checked:
Police in a Missouri town say checking the immigration status of a previously convicted Mexican who recently murdered two people would have constituted illegal racial profiling.
o, the town’s police captain held a press conference to say that tracking illegal immigrants is a federal responsibility and “not within the authority” of his department.
To check a person’s legal status in the country solely on race is racial profiling, said Hannibal Police Captain Jim Hark, who pointed out that the federal government is very strict on any law enforcement taking part in race based actions.
The 32-year-old Cazares had a Tennessee driver’s license, a Florida state identification and a Social Security card. He worked for years at a local restaurant and his boss claims the documents seemed authentic. Had they been scrutinized, perhaps two innocent people would still be alive.