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Groups Defend Clinic Format on Racial Profiling

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A coalition of advocacy groups is defending its decision to exclude Des Moines police from interviews with the public aimed at documenting cases of alleged racial profiling.

Ben Stone, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, says police presence at the upcoming clinics could deter and intimidate people from sharing their experiences.

The coalition is made up of the ACLU of Iowa, the Iowa NAACP and A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy. They aim to combat allegations of racial profiling around the city.

Sgt. Daniel Blom says the department vigorously investigates all allegations of racial profiling. He also noted the coalition turned down an offer to have an investigator at the clinics.

Stone says despite the groups' decision, it hopes to work with the department in the future.

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