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Peoria police look into checkpoint complaints

PHOENIX — Peoria police are reviewing a recent traffic checkpoint in which 11 suspected illegal immigrants were arrested.

The Jan. 29 checkpoint near Grand and Peoria avenues was intended as a commercial vehicle safety inspection.

“A second component of that stop that night was to make sure that drivers had their correct registration and licenses, and that everyone that was on the road was licensed and registered to be on the road,” said Peoria Police spokeswoman Amanda Jacinto.

Peoria sent a mass e-mail to several other police agencies about the inspection, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Jacinto said it was ICE officers who showed up at the checkpoint and made the arrests.

She said that once her department began hearing complaints that the checkpoint was an immigration roundup, her department took action.

“Some of our command staff went out to the checkpoint and decided to close it down for the night,” Jacinto said. “This in no way involved immigration checks. It in no way involved racial profiling.”

Since the incident, Peoria Police Chief Roy Minter has been meeting with members of the Hispanic community.

“They have told us that they have been very impressed with the way we have been handling this and that we are reaching out to them,” said Jacinto.

She said there are no plans for another commercial vehicle inspection.