Maryland Court Hears Racial Profiling Case | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Maryland Court Hears Racial Profiling Case

Play associated audio

The state of Maryland has settled several lawsuits alleging racial profiling by police over the past two decades. But the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union say disparities persist.

For every 100 whites stopped and searched on I-95 in MD, there are 300 to 400 blacks stopped and searched, even though blacks are no more likely than whites to have drugs or contraband. As a result, the NAACP and ACLU want the records of citizen complaints alleging racial profiling by state troopers.

Robert Wilkins is an attorney for NAACP and ACLU.
"One hundred complaints of racial profiling have been made since 2003 and Maryland State Police has found zero of them to be sustained," says Wilkins. "We are asking a basic question, which is why are the citizens zero for 100 when they make a complaint against State Police."

Wilkins says people are asked to simply trust that the state properly investigated. But the State of Maryland argues that the documents are the private personnel records of state troopers and are protected by law.

"It's a loss of the privacy protection that the legislature has determined is appropriate for personnel records," says David Moore, assistant attorney general of Maryland.

Moore argues that state law clearly prohibits releasing those types of documents and doing so would set a dangerous precedent that would affect other personal information that the legislature has sought to protect, from welfare records to education records.

A lower court ruled that the records could be released if personal information was redacted. The state is appealing that ruling, arguing even redacted personal documents can't be released.

Sabri Ben-Achour reports...

NPR

Out Of Ukraine, This 'Suitcase' Packs An Immigrant's Story With Humor

Ari Shapiro talks with first-time novelist Yelena Akhtiorskaya about her book, Panic in a Suitcase.
NPR

Farming The Bluefin Tuna, Tiger Of The Ocean, Is Not Without A Price

Scientists are trying to raise prized bluefin tuna completely in captivity. An experiment at a Baltimore college is the first successful attempt in North America.
NPR

Senate's Highway Trust Fund Bill Sets Up Conflict With The House

A short-term fix for the nearly empty Highway Trust Fund is a step closer to President Obama's desk. Congress has been talking about the long-term problems with the construction account, but the two chambers have not agreed on a long-term solution.
NPR

OkCupid Sometimes Messes A Bit With Love, In The Name Of Science

OkCupid, the online dating site, disclosed Monday that they sometimes manipulate their users' profiles for experiments.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.