Shaking down someone for cash based on their ethnicity is nothing new. It’s been around forever and is particularly despicable when the targeted victims can ill afford to lose the money.
Fortunately, today in the United States of America such actions are considered a civil rights offense and carry stiff punishment for the perpetrators. A recent case in Georgia was extra reprehensible because a law enforcement officer was involved.
The plan called for the cop to pull over Hispanic motorists in an unlawful manner then bring in his Spanish-speaking co-conspirators to tell the driver in his native language that he would be sent to jail or deported if he did not cough up $500.
Posed as innocent bystanders
The accomplices played their parts well. They acted as if they were disinterested bystanders who had nothing to do with the officer but merely came upon the crime scene by chance and wanted to help out a driver in need.
In one instance, a targeted driver said he did not have $500 with him. The conspirators then agreed to let him go and borrow the money from relatives.
The accomplices drove the victim home and took $300 in cash from him. The perpetrators split the loot three ways.
The officer made illegal stops and detained at least four motorists in this manner. His cohorts were with him every step of the way.
Became a federal case
Because of the civil rights issue, this became a federal case and the U.S. Justice Department got involved.
The cop pleaded guilty and was sentenced to almost two years behind bars. His civilian accomplices got similar sentences.
The perpetrators undoubtedly believed that they could get away with the crimes they committed because the victims would not call the real police.
The crooks were betting that the targeted victims would be either illegal aliens in fear of detention and deportation, or else they would be uncomfortable speaking English to authorities and might even be suspicious of cops in general from this incident and others they may have had in the past, possibly even in other countries.
It’s not a pretty picture when the bad guys turn out to be the ones wearing a badge.