It appears the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) in Arizona follows the same procedure. On April 23rd, 2013, Mesa police arrested Cynthia Espinosa-Elizalde, the getaway driver for a burglary team, after a couple of Mormon missionaries interrupted her male accomplice hauling goods out of a neighbor's house. The missionaries called 911 and detained the two long enough for police to arrive; although Espinosa-Elizalde was arrested, her accomplice fled on foot. The 21-year-old Espinosa-Elizalde has been charged with criminal trespass and second degree burglary.
Imagine my surprise when I found out that, despite her Hispanic surname, MCSO classified Cynthia Espinosa-Elizalde as white. Look at the photo below:
|Screenshot from KSAZ; does she really look white?|
I realize the U.S. Census Bureau and the FBI still consider Hispanic to be an ethnicity rather than a race, but this lady does not look white. She has many of the classical mestizo features. What makes this problematic is that whenever mestizo criminals are classified as white, it automatically and unjustifiably skews the number of "white" offenders upward, providing a distorted and pessimistic portrayal of white criminality. And it's not just Texas and Arizona that do this; Hunter Wallace noted that Alabama and Georgia were also classifying Hispanic offenders as White as of May 2011.
In April 2011, Darrell Steffensmeier, professor of sociology and crime, law, and justice at Penn State, disclosed that since there is no Hispanic category in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports and that approximately 93 percent of Hispanics identify themselves, or are identified by law enforcement officers, as White, most arrests of Hispanics are added to White violent crime rates. The result is that the violent crime rates for Whites are inflated and the Black rates are deflated. Steffensmeier also noted that using arrest statistics from 1980 to 2008 in California and New York, two states that include a Hispanic category, the recalculated national figures indicated that the Black percentage of assault increased slightly from 42 percent to 44 percent and homicide increased from 57 percent to 65 percent, while there was a small decline in robbery, from 57 percent to 54 percent.