- - Sunday, June 17, 2012

PHOENIX — Police agencies that would enforce the most controversial part of Arizona’s 2010 immigration law are expected to get squeezed by legal challenges from opposite sides if the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the law in the coming days.

Opponents of the Arizona law, known as S.B. 1070, are likely to sue police departments on claims that officers racially profile people as they enforce the provision of the law that requires police to check the immigration status of people they stop for other reasons. But legal challenges also are expected from the other side: from supporters who could claim that a police agency has broken the law if it restricts the enforcement of S.B. 1070.

“There are people just waiting to challenge this law on both sides of the spectrum,” said Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor.

The right to sue was among the parts of the law that were allowed to take effect in July 2010.


Thousands march to protest police stop-and-frisk tactics

Thousands of protesters from civil rights groups have marched down New York City’s Fifth Avenue in total silence to demand that the city’s police department end its “stop-and-frisk” tactics.

Members of almost 300 groups on Sunday quietly strolled down Manhattan from Harlem to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s blocked-off town house on the Upper East Side where they shouted “No justice, no peace” as they passed by.

Critics say the New York Police Department’s practice of stopping, questioning and searching people deemed suspicious is illegal and humiliating to thousands of law-abiding blacks and Hispanics. The NYPD last year stopped more than 630,000 people, mostly black and Hispanic men.

Mr. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly defend the policy, saying the stop-and-frisk program keeps guns off New York streets and helps reduce crime.

Nightclub closes after Chris Brown-Drake brawl

Police have shut down a New York City nightclub where singer Chris Brown and rapper Drake’s entourage got into a bottle-throwing brawl.

A New York Police Department spokeswoman said the club, W.i.P, in the city’s SoHo neighborhood was closed Saturday night because of code violations. The NYPD gave no details about the violations.

Mr. Brown, his girlfriend and his bodyguard were among eight injured during the fight inside the club last week. Police say members of Drake’s entourage stopped Mr. Brown as he was leaving. The fight escalated, and bottles were thrown.

San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker said he suffered a scratched retina during the brawl.

Drake’s representatives said he was on his way out when the fight began and did not injure anyone. Mr. Brown spoke to police.

Vandal mars artist’s tall ship sand sculpture

Sand sculptor Matthew Long spent days carving 23 tons of sand into a sculpture of a tall ship to display on New York City’s waterfront. Then, in seconds, it suffered the fate of sand castles everywhere.

Mr. Long arrived at Manhattan’s South Street Seaport Saturday morning to find his creation partially demolished and covered in boot prints, “about a size nine.”

“I was cursing under my breath,” he said.

On Saturday, Mr. Long, whose work has been featured on television’s Travel Channel, was trying to reconstruct his vandalized creation - a promotion for the South Street Seaport Museum.

“I know I’m going to pull it off,” he said.


Dozens hurt as car drives into crowd

LIMA — A woman unexplainably drove her car into a crowded town square in northwestern Ohio and struck bystanders, sending some through the air and pinning others under the car until freed when bystanders lifted the vehicle, authorities and witnesses said.

About 30 people were injured. Some suffered serious injuries to their legs, heads and necks, none of them life-threatening, police said. All but four were released from a hospital Friday, a hospital spokeswoman said. At least one other person was taken to another hospital.

The chaotic scene unfolded Friday night in Lima, where more than 1,000 people had gathered for a weekly community event featuring live music. A witness said the woman appeared disoriented.

Lima Police Detective Steve Stechschulte said the Lima-area woman, whom police would not identify, probably drove the car about 50 feet at about 20 mph. Tire marks show the car’s destructive path, including on a sidewalk and mulch-filled flower bed.

The driver was not injured and was released pending further investigation.


Teen in police beating video case rearrested

HOUSTON — As he testified last month at the first of potentially several trials of former Houston police officers accused of beating him during a 2010 burglary arrest, Chad Holley explained to jurors that his brush with the law was an aberration and that he was planning to go to college to get his life on track.

But less than two months after Mr. Holley, now 18, finished probation for that burglary, he is accused of committing another one. His latest arrest could be problematic not just for him but also for prosecutors, who have indicted three other officers for their roles in the incident, which was captured on videotape.

In the first trial, a jury acquitted Andrew Blomberg, a former Houston police officer, of a misdemeanor charge of official oppression. Black community leaders criticized the verdict by an all-white jury as unjust and racist. Mr. Blomberg’s defense attorneys said he never kicked Mr. Holley, who is black, but was only trying to secure a potentially armed suspect. Mr. Holley testified that he wasn’t resisting arrest.

In a statement, Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos declined to comment on how Mr. Holley’s latest arrest might affect how prosecutors proceed, saying she didn’t want publicity resulting in the pending trials being moved to another jurisdiction.

But some legal analysts say that although Mr. Holley’s recent arrest doesn’t derail the criminal cases against the three other indicted former officers, it will make it harder for prosecutors to prevail.


Clinton speaks at nephew’s graduation

REDONDO BEACH — When he was in the second grade, Tyler Clinton’s uncle arrived to his Southern California school unannounced to visit his classroom. Four years ago, former President Bill Clinton attended his nephew’s eighth-grade graduation.

On Friday, he showed support for the son of presidential brother Roger Clinton again by delivering the commencement speech at Redondo Beach High School. Mr. Clinton urged students to take chances.

“Most high schools have reunions about every five years,” he said. “My high school does, and I’ve only missed one, in 48 years. The saddest among my classmates are not those who have failed. … The saddest ones are those who had dreams and did not try to achieve them.”


For Father’s Day, Obama goes golfing in Chicago

CHICAGO — The president spent a sunny late Sunday morning in Chicago enjoying a round a golf at the Beverly Country Club with longtime friends Martin Nesbitt and Eric Whitaker, plus Mr. Obama’s trip director and frequent golf partner, Marvin Nicholson.

Hours later, the president was set to fly to Los Cabos, Mexico, for a Group of 20 summit dominated by Europe’s financial crisis and the growing global economic anxiety.

The president spent much of the weekend in Chicago with his wife, two daughters and mother-in-law.

They attended the wedding Saturday of White House adviser Valerie Jarrett’s daughter in the same neighborhood that the Obamas call home.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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