Mt. Enterprise city marshal admits to forcing Hispanics to pay cash

MOUNT ENTERPRISE, TX (KTRE) - Answers to racial profiling allegations in Mt. Enterprise have now made it into deposition records.

Mount Enterprise City Marshal David Collins received some direct questioning in a wrongful termination lawsuit filed against the city by former Mt Enterprise deputy marshal Mark Johnson.

"It surprised me he admitted as much as he did," said Johnson.

Johnson claims he was fired when he refused to follow city marshal David Collins' order to take cash payments on the side of the road.

"I knew it was wrong," said Johnson.

In the deposition, Johnson's attorney asked Collins, 'Did you ever tell Mark Johnson that you accepted cash payments from Hispanics when you stopped them on traffic stops? Collins replied, 'I did'.

"It's just racial profiling, 101," said Johnson.

Collins then explained, 'The practice is if they do not have a valid United States, regardless of Spanish, Russian, English, Australian, does not make no difference, if they did not have valid U.S. Identification.

"He said he's been doing it over 20 years and no one said anything about it yet. I said, just because no one said anything about it doesn't make it right," said Johnson.

The follow up question to Collins was, What would he do in that particular situation? Collins replied, 'Have them post bond'.

"He never gave a cash bond. He gave a receipt. He took their money and gave them a little Wal Mart paper receipt," said Johnson.

Collins was asked, Did you ever tell Mark Johnson that you had Hispanics pay cash bonds because Mexicans don't pay their bills? Collins said, 'never ever'.  But later he was asked, Did you ever tell anyone that if they didn't post the cash bond, they were going to jail. Collins answer was yes.

"You can't take cash on the side of the road because of race or color of one's skin," said Johnson.

Depositions from expert witnesses and some city officials still need to be taken. In the meantime, Johnson is feeling pretty good about his case.

"And he's hung himself so many times in this deposition he got some explaining to do," he said.

Collins attorney, Bob Alderman, provided a comment on the issue.

"I don't normally comment on pending suits and this matter is still under litigation," he said. "This is an employment dispute and when all the facts are put forth don't think there will be a finding of wrongdoing and the parts quoted were taken out of context."

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