ACLU investigating NC sheriff after comments

SMITHFIELD, N.C. (AP) -- A North Carolina civil rights group says it will investigate a sheriff's office for racial profiling after a sheriff said in published reports that "Mexicans are trashy."

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina said Tuesday its legal office was filing public records requests with the Johnston County Sheriff's Office for traffic checkpoint and arrest records.

The action comes after Sheriff Steve Bizzell apologized for comments published Sunday in The News & Observer of Raleigh.

Bizzell also said illegal immigrants in his county were "breeding like rabbits," but said he sympathized with immigrant laborers and acknowledged they enrich the lives of his constituents.

He later said he didn't intend to make broad statements that reflected on legal and law-abiding Hispanics.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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