Calls are growing for the dismissal of a Passaic police officer who is shown on video threatening a Latino couple with calling immigration on them and their relatives.
Hundreds rallied in front of Passaic City Hall this week to protest his comments, made in February but gaining public attention now, which they said were overzealous and xenophobic, according to NBC's New York affiliate.
The couple, Jasmine Vidal and her boyfriend, tell reporters that they were sitting on a porch when the officer, identified as Sgt. Roy Bordamonte, started talking to them inaudibly. When they said they couldn’t hear and asked the police officer to get out of his car, he got angry and cursed at them and threatened to call immigration authorities on them.
The couple recorded the incident.
Best pix of the week
Concerns over Arizona's immigration law delays police program in Tucson-area schools
Best pix of the week
Family of farmworker killed by Pasco police slam investigation into his death
Latino vote matters more than ever
Judge dismisses last challenges against Arizona's controversial immigration law
In the recorded encounter, the officer asked Vidal's boyfriend, "You go to school? What are you, [expletive] special ed? You [expletive] an idiot. You might be an idiot because you mouthed off. That's why you're going to get this ticket."
Then he added: "Don't worry, I'm going to knock on your [expletive] door, and I'm going to check your mom's ID, and all your [expletive] cousins and relatives, and when they give me a fake [expletive] name, I'm going to have immigration pick everybody up so they can go back to the [expletive] border or wherever the [expletive] they came from. And all the hard work they came to America, you [expletive] it up.”
"I don't see you smiling. Where's that smile now?" the officer says, before taunting him: "Let's go, bro. You were talking all this [expletive], bro."
Passaic Mayor Alex Blanco told NBC’s New York affiliate that the city is investigating the incident.
It remains unclear what prompted the police officer to begin speaking to the couple.