Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wrong-way walking stops by police
stir racial profiling concerns

Civil rights leaders are pressuring the Bradenton Police Department to end the practice of stopping walkers at night in one part of the city for not using sidewalks and for walking on the wrong side of the road.

Several recent cases have generated criticism and spurred dialogue about little-known pedestrian violations that are enforced primarily in a poor section of Bradenton.

Police defend the tactic, calling the stops a lawful, appropriate tool in combating drugs and interfering with criminal activity. Critics, including defense attorneys and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a civil rights group, say the stops target minorities in an area where pedestrians are common.

A review of 30 recent pedestrian cases in which the person was walking on the wrong side of the road shows more than half of the walkers were black or Latino men walking between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. in Ward 5, a poor section of the city.

Read the Tampa Tribune report here.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently slammed the courthouse door on any attempts to challenge the practice of racial profiling.

4 Comments:

At 5:08 PM, Blogger TrumanDem said...

Well, I've heard of tickets for "driving while black" but this tactic is new to me. "Walking while black?"

Since I'm not the lawyer here isn't the core of the redress here the ordinances or codes are not being enforced citywide? The constitutional grounds are troubling enough but the equal enforcement alone should be cause for a legal petition for redress.

TrumanDem

Truman's Conscience
"The Buck Stopped Here"

 
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