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Wed November 7, 2001
State and ACLU Suing Providence Police Department
By Pamela Watts
Providence – The state and the ACLU are suing the Providence Police Department over failing to comply with the so-called ?Driving while Black? law.
Based on the number of traffic stops made since the study began this year, Providence police are accused of ignoring the study of racial profiling.
The state?s suit seeks an injunction to get officers to follow the letter of the law. The ACLU goes further, demanding that a special master be appointed to audit the reports.
However, attorney general Sheldon Whitehouse says the state's suit takes precedence.
"The racial profiling study comes about because people of color have long said: 'We are being targeted for profiling on the highway.'Law enforcement officials have said to that: 'No, you're not. It's not our policy and we don't do that.' This study was put in place to be fair to both parties," said Anthony Maione who is the spokesperson for a coalition of more than thirty civil rights groups."
Providence Police Chief Richard Sullivan says he believes his department is in compliance with the driving while black law and any problems in the reporting stem from a misunderstanding.