ACLU launches statewide racial profiling initiative
Updated: 09/18/2012 05:52 PM
By: Andy Mattison
RALEIGH -- It's been an issue some say they've dealt with too often.
"I've been pulled over for no reason at all. I've been dragged out of my vehicle. I've been handcuffed. Humiliated. Harassed," said Raleigh resident Lelynd Darkes.
"You stop me because I'm black or you pulled over because there's two black men sitting in front of one of the black men's house he said yes," said Fayetteville resident Charles Robinson.
Now the ACLU wants to take action. The group launched their "Write It Down" campaign Tuesday.
With a complaint form now available on their website, the ACLU hopes the campaign would help them document instances of racial discrimination in the state.
"Our goals for this campaign is to end these disparities. In a country where everyone is treated equally these disparities can not happen," said NC ACLU Racial Justice Attorney Raul Pinto.
While police officials News 14 Carolina spoke with said racial profiling is not a major issue in the state, they said they thought the ACLU's campaign is a step in the right direction.
"We must hold ourselves up to the highest level of scrutiny. But in terms of investigating what matter those complaints must be by affidavit or substantiated in some manner or purpose," said North Carolina Police Benevolent Association Executive Director John Midgette.
Reginald Woods filed a complaint with Durham police over a traffic stop back in July 2008. More than a year later, he received a letter from the department saying his claim that he was stopped without cause was sustained, meaning the officer's actions were improper.
"If it happens to you complain about it. If you don't complain we can't get any farther. We can't stop it," said Durham resident Reginald Woods.
And stopping it is what the ACLU hopes to achieve.
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