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A nice article in the Star Tribune today discussed some of the work the ACLU was doing in greater Minnesota.

The small city of Gaylord has a population of about 2300 people and a fifth of them are Latino.  The ACLU was greatly concerned about discriminatory policing and has sent a letter with their findings and recommendations to the Gaylord city council and police chief.  Whether they'll do anything is an open question.

Fighting racial profiling is extremely hard, even for groups like the ACLU.  Often times an officer can use pretextual reasons to legitimize a stop - that's why you see minorities pulled over far more often for things like window tint, obstructed windows, cracked windows, no seatbelt etc.  And white drivers get pulled over for more common reasons, such as speeding, running lights etc.  The ACLU of MN found that the Gaylord officer in question ticketed Hispanics for things like no DL, insurance or driving after revocation (DAR) nearly 70% of the time.  In fact, Hispanic motorists in Gaylord were about as likely to be pulled over for speeding (8% of the time) as they were for curfew violations and window tint.  No whites were stopped for either of those offenses.  

The ACLU of MN has been extremely active in fighting for civil liberties and civil rights.  This last year, they were on the front line in opposing (and winning) the fight against Voter ID and a marriage amendment that would define marriage as only between a man and a woman.  But they are small and could always use your support, even $10 is appreciated. -

Originally posted to gunnarthor on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 09:22 AM PST.

Also republished by RaceGender DiscrimiNATION.

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