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

Teaching Students To Hear The 'Music' In The Built World

Cooper Union architecture professor Diana Agrest has influenced generations of accomplished architects. Now in her 70s, Agrest was one of the first women to teach in the largely male dominated field.
NPR

5 Million Chickens To Be Killed As Bird Flu Outbreak Puzzles Industry

A flu strain deadly to chickens and turkeys is striking farms in the West and Midwest. This week, it hit an Iowa facility with millions of egg-laying hens. No one knows how it's entering houses.
NPR

In Latest Outbreak Of Bipartisanship, Senate Compromises On Trafficking Bill

Senate negotiators reached a deal Tuesday on an anti-human trafficking bill, which is expected to pave the way for the Senate to finally vote on Loretta Lynch's nomination for attorney general.
NPR

Google's New Search Algorithm Stokes Fears Of 'Mobilegeddon'

This week, Google started prioritizing mobile-friendly websites in Google searches made on a smartphone. The change could hurt businesses whose sites don't pass Google's mobile-ready test.

Leave a Comment

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