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Attorney: NC sheriff won’t settle profiling claims

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – An attorney for the North Carolina sheriff accused of illegally arresting Latinos without probable cause to boost deportations says the lawman isn’t interested in a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department.

Attorney S.C. Kitchen told government lawyers on Wednesday that Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson hasn’t done wrong and his deputies don’t discriminate.

Johnson has been a supporter of a federal program that allowed local law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of those they detain, potentially triggering deportation. The Department of Homeland Security announced this year it was discontinuing the program after widespread complaints of racial profiling.

The Justice Department said last week Johnson abused his authority by ordering his deputies to find reasons to arrest motorists who appeared Latino while letting white drivers off with warnings.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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