Racial profiling lawsuit filed against 3 Miss. troopers - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Racial profiling lawsuit filed against 3 Miss. troopers

Posted: Updated:
The troopers claimed their license plate holder blocked the view of the tag, but Cathryn Stout and Raymond Montgomery believe they were racially profiled. The troopers claimed their license plate holder blocked the view of the tag, but Cathryn Stout and Raymond Montgomery believe they were racially profiled.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that their privacy was invaded when their vehicle was searched without permission. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that their privacy was invaded when their vehicle was searched without permission.
JACKSON, MS -

(WMC-TV) - The ACLU of Mississippi filed a lawsuit against the Mississippi Department of Public Safety and three state troopers for the alleged racial profiling of two Memphis residents during a 2012 traffic stop.

The pair was traveling on Interstate 55 near Jackson, Miss. when they were pulled over. The troopers claimed their license plate holder blocked the view of the tag, but Cathryn Stout and Raymond Montgomery believe they were racially profiled.

Stout is a doctoral student and was traveling with Montgomery last summer for a paper on combating negative stereotypes about Mississippi.

She claims troopers rode up next to the vehicle, looked at them, got behind the SUV and then pulled them over. Montgomery says the trooper told him the department was cracking down on license plate holders that block tags. Their plate holder read Alpha Kappa Alpha, which is a black sorority.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that their privacy was invaded when their vehicle was searched without permission. When one of them attempted to videotape the incident on a cell phone she was told to stop, according to the lawsuit.

Stout and Montgomery say they were never given a ticket and that their AKA plate holder is perfectly legal.

Mississippi residents have mixed feelings on the allegations in the lawsuit, but believe racial profiling exists in Mississippi.

"If you have big rims or tint on your car, they pull you over. Automatically they know black guy, they think dope dealer or something," said resident Amber McCain.

A spokesperson for DPS in Mississippi says the department does not comment on pending litigation.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow