Racial Profling

A picture of lights on a police car.
Alejandro Mejía Greene/JubiloHaku / Flickr

The decisions not to indict white police officers who killed unarmed black men in Ferguson, Mo., and New York have led to calls for reform.

Demonstrations across the country suggest a deep divide between some law enforcement agencies and the people they are charged with protecting.

Federal Building Winston-Salem
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

  The trial of Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson is expected to conclude Friday in federal court. The U.S. Department of Justice brough a lawsuit against the sheriff, accusing him to have profiled Latinos by ordering road-blocks in minority neighborhoods, and for calling on his deputies to arrest and detain Hispanics, without probable cause. He denied those claims Thursday, taking the witness stand in his own defense. Federal prosecutors tried to call Johnson's credibility into question by repeatedly trying to impeach him under cross examination.

Alamance County Sheriff's vehicle
Alamance County Sheriff's Office

A federal case against the Alamance county sheriff accused of illegally targeting Latino drivers is going to trial today.

The U.S. Justice Department has accused Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson of illegally targeting Latino drivers as well as arresting and detaining people without probable cause.

A portrait og Tom Bonfield
City of Durham

Spurred by complaints about racial bias in the Durham Police Department, City Manager Tom Bonfield said he'll review recommendations to improve relations with the community.

“I recognize the critical importance of a trusting relationship between a community police department and the community. And I also recognize that and the end of the day, I'm responsible for the actions of the department and how that plays out in terms of the relationship.”

James Williams
Leoneda Inge

Community organizations and faith-based groups in Durham are calling for a series of measures to help end what they call "racial profiling" by the Durham Police Department.

Representatives of the NAACP, Durham Congregations in Action, Fostering Alternatives in Drug Enforcement -- or FADE -- and several other groups are pushing for five main changes.

Durham Police Department badge.
City of Durham

    

Seventeen year-old Jesus Huerta died of a gunshot wound in the back of a Durham police car last month. His death sparked protests outside of Durham Police Department Headquarters.

Photos from the Million Hoodies Union Square protest against Trayvon Martin's shooting death in Sanford, Florida.
David Shankbone

On Saturday, July 13, George Zimmerman was pronounced not guilty of second degree murder for the killing of Trayvon Martin. The jury acquitted him on the grounds of self-defense. What does self-defense mean in a case like this?

Before the trial began, Judge Deborah Nelson forbade use of the term “racial profiling” in the courtroom. How does race play into the criminal justice system? 

Host Frank Stasio speaks with a panel of experts to discuss these questions and what the Trayvon Martin case in Florida means for us in North Carolina. His guests are:

Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act allows United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement to partner with state and local police. Those officers are allowed to enforce federal immigration law. Critics say that the program leads to racial profiling of minorities and makes immigrants fearful of reporting crime in their own communities.

Alamance County is expected to respond to the US Department of justice today, following the findings of an investigation and alleged racial profiling by the Sheriff's Department.

Last week, the US Department of Justice released findings following a two-year investigation into alleged racial profiling by the Alamance County Sheriff’s Department. The D-O-J says the department targeted Latino drivers, installed unnecessary checkpoints in Latino neighborhoods and abused its power as a county taking part in the controversial 287 (g) deportation program. Alamance has since been removed from the program, but the local Sheriff says these accusations are completely false.

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