Idaho Legislature candidate explains criminal record, decries profiling

Paul Hautzinger, a Libertarian, says he'd work to curb police abuses of power.

sberg@idahostatesman.comApril 22, 2014 

Paul Hautzinger

On more than one occasion, Paul Hautzinger said Friday, law enforcement officers have pulled him over because they knew him - or of him - and assumed he was up to no good.

In 2011, a law enforcement officer stopped the car Hautzinger was driving in Boise as part of an investigation of a fight that involved weapons, according to the officer's report. Hautzinger believes the officer used the fight as an excuse to pull him over.

"That is an example of how there could be significantly better accountability and respect for people's personhood," he said. "I've never been in a fight involving weapons, so that's just a top-down example of a lack of accountability and proper enforcement."

Hautzinger, 29, is a candidate this year for Seat 17A in the Idaho House of Representatives. He has a long history of run-ins with the law in Idaho, including at least two marijuana-related convictions - the most recent stemming from a March 2013 arrest - in addition to convictions for driving without a license and several traffic violations.

Hautzinger admits to having "kind of a rap sheet." But he believes that, sometimes, he's been unfairly targeted by law enforcement officers. He believes he's not the only one.

"A police officer is more likely to pull over a 1990 Honda Civic with someone wearing a wife-beater (shirt) and having tattoos going six miles over the speed limit, than to pull over a Navigator with a blond woman inside going six miles an hour over," Hautzinger said. "I think that's fairly evident, and I think those types of profiling tactics hurt the lower-income individuals most because they are least likely to defend themselves and they are most likely to find themselves in that situation."

Hautzinger says police profiling of suspects is an abuse of government power. If elected, he wants to increase mandatory use of video-recording equipment by police officers.

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