Sacramento NAACP to Explore Class Action Suit Over Racial Profiling

May 12, 2017 |  

The Sacramento chapter of the NAACP announced they are exploring the possibility of filing a class action lawsuit against what they describe as "discriminatory law enforcement practices in the Greater Sacramento region."  

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the local chapter of one of the country's oldest civil rights advocacy group said the issue will be discussed at their Saturday, May 13 meeting. The decision to consider a lawsuit against regional law enforcement agencies which the Sacramento Bee found disproportionately target African American and Latino drivers.

In that Sacramento Bee story, an analysis of nine years of data found that while Blacks are about 13-percent of the City of Sacramento's population, they accounted for 32-percent of traffic stops. Studies conducted in 2001 and 2011 by the City of Sacramento and Sacramento County respectively revealed similar results.  

"No one should feel that they are less-than or treated differently when walking or driving while Black," said NAACP Sacramento chapter president Betty Williams. "However, this practice continues here in Sacramento, and it must stop.”

As part of their determination to file a class action suit, the chapter has invited attorney Mark Harris of Harris & Associates to their Saturday meeting. Additionally, the chapter is also seeking people who believe that anytime in the last seven years have been targeted for police stops based on race to attend the meeting. 

"It's is unacceptable for our community to be victimized and singled out merely because the color of our skin,” Harris said. “African-Americans are subjected to unjustified encounters with law enforcement at levels disproportionately higher than any other members of our community. Those encounters have fanned the flames of mistrust of law enforcement by Sacramento's Black residents which is unconscionable in light of the fact we pay their salaries.”

Tomorrow's general membership meeting starts at 11 a.m. at the chapter's office located at 3555 3rd Ave., Sacramento. 

“These stories must be told," Williams said. "Justice must be achieved by any and all means possible.”  

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