: 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...

WAMU 88.5

Remains In Jamestown Linked To Early Colonial Leaders

Scientists from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and The Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation say they've identified four men buried in the earliest English church in America.
WAMU 88.5

The Democracy Of The Diner

Whether the decor is faux '50s silver and neon or authentic greasy spoon, diners are classic Americana, down to the familiar menu items. Rich, poor, black, white--all rub shoulders in the vinyl booths and at formica counters. We explore the enduring appeal and nostalgia of the diner.

WAMU 88.5

D.C. Council Member David Grosso

D.C. Council Member and Chair of the Committee on Education David Grosso joins us to discuss local public policy issues, including the challenges facing D.C. Public Schools.

NPR

Researchers Warn Against 'Autonomous Weapons' Arms Race

Already, researcher Stuart Russell says, sentry robots in South Korea "can spot and track a human being for a distance of 2 miles — and can very accurately kill that person."

Leave a Comment

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