The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against the Madison County Sheriff’s Department for racial profiling. ACLU claims that black people are unfairly targeted and treated unconstitutionally within Madison County jurisdiction.
ACLU of Mississippi attorney Josh Tom tells News Mississippi that the papers have been served against Sheriff Randy Tucker, the Sheriff’s Department, and against the Madison County Board of Supervisors.
“The papers are served,” said Tom. “So the lawsuit is moving forward.”
Tom told News Mississippi that the ACLU had been investigating the Madison County Sheriff’s Department for about a year, and that statistics regarding the arrest of African-Americans in the county actually came from a public records request from the department.
According to the ACLU, while only 38% of the Madison County population is made up of black residents, 73% of the arrests logged by deputies were those of African-Americans.
The ACLU claims that the 10 plaintiffs in the lawsuit were illegally searched, detained, forced to endure home invasions, and even were even threatened into giving false statements.
One alleged case is that of Quinetta Manning, who claims that her husband, who is physically disabled, was beaten until he agreed to sign a false statement for a crime he claims he didn’t witness.
Tom told News Mississippi their story:
Manning told the ACLU she also agreed to the statement, fearing what could happen next.
News Mississippi contacted Sheriff Randy Tucker, who said he couldn’t give an official statement at the time.