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...

WAMU 88.5

Second Annual Funk Parade To Take Over U Street

This weekend you can get funky on U Street with live music, a street festival and a parade, as tomorrow marks the second Funk Parade. Funk Parade organizers couldn't get a permit to march down U Street last year, but the crowd veered off V Street anyway to where co-founder Justin Rood always...
NPR

How Dangerous Is Powdered Alcohol?

Last month, the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved a powdered alcohol product, making both parents and lawmakers nervous. Some states have already banned powdered alcohol. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Brent Roth of Wired, who made his own powdered concoction and put it to the test.
NPR

Obama Administration Forced To Defend Strategy Against ISIS In Iraq

On this Memorial Day, the Obama administration finds itself defending its foreign policy strategy in Iraq where the self-proclaimed Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has captured the city of Ramadi.
NPR

In California, Technology Makes "Droughtshaming" Easier Than Ever

As California's drought continues, social media and smart phone apps let just about anyone call out water waste, often very publicly.

Leave a Comment

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