Oct 9, 2013 7:11 PM by Stefanie Boe

TPD Chief: "I'm following the law"

TUCSON - Both sides are responding after a routine traffic stop on the south side Tuesday night turned into a heated confrontation between Immigration Activists and Tucson Police Officers working with Border Patrol Agents.

It all started after TPD officers pulled over two men because they didn't have a working light on their license plate. When the men, who are both undocumented immigrants, couldn't produce a driver's license or ID, TPD called Border Patrol.

From there, a large group of protesters showed up at the scene and TPD used pepper spray to break up the crowd. Within an hour, the two men, as well as two women, were all detained by Border Patrol. The call to Border Patrol was part of SB 1070, a state law.

Both sides held news conferences Wednesday to explain their position. Those against SB-1070 say no where in the law does it say TPD must call Border Patrol, so they're asking TPD to stop that. They say if Police Chief Roberto Villasenor doesn't announce he will implement a change by October 22nd, they're calling on the city to fire him.

Raul Alcarez of the Southside Worker Center says, "We demand there be a lot of community pressure so that the City Council and City Manager put pressure on the Police Department to implement the community's recommendations that we have been asking for a year now."

Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor also held a news conference Wednesday. He says, " I understand their frustration, but I follow the law and they can demand those things, but i'm not going to go against state law. These are the problems I talked about when SB 1070 was first discussed. I talked about how it was going to put us at odds with the community."

News 4 Tucson will continue to follow this story and bring you more on News 4 Tucson Live at 5.


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