State police accused again of racial bias in I-95 stops ACLU is suing troopers on behalf of 11 motorists and NAACP of Maryland

June 04, 1998|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A lawsuit charging Maryland State Police with race-based discrimination in traffic stops leading to drug searches along Interstate 95 is to be announced today by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of 11 minority motorists and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People of Maryland.

The motorists include a Baltimore Police Department employee, the director of a nonprofit organization and an Army employee, the ACLU said in a statement.

ACLU attorneys are to announce the lawsuit at a 10: 30 a.m. news conference at the Episcopal Diocesan Center, 4 E. University Parkway. A second news conference is to be held at 2 p.m. at the ACLU's national office in Washington.

In December, the ACLU asked a federal district court in Baltimore to declare the state police in violation of a 1995 court order to institute a policy of nondiscrimination in traffic stops.

Under that order, the state paid $12,500 each to four black plaintiffs who alleged discrimination. It also required state police to maintain computer records of motorist searches.

The ACLU says state police records from January 1995 through September 1996 show:

75 percent of motorists detained and searched by state police on I-95 were black; 20 percent were white.

17.5 percent of motorists committing traffic violations on I-95 were black; 75 percent were white.

28.4 percent of blacks searched were found with drugs, and 28.8 percent of whites searched were found with drugs.

Pub Date: 6/04/98

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