Judge hears oral arguments in lawsuit that alleges Cedar Rapids Citizen’s Review Board discriminates against white people

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 6:51 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Oral arguments were heard Tuesday in federal court that challenges Cedar Rapids’ policy to consider race when it comes to selecting members of the Police Department’s Citizen Review Board.

Kevin Wymore of Cedar Rapids, who is white, is suing the city over an ordinance that requires five of the nine-member Citizen Review Board identity as people of color.

During an oral argument on the motion regarding this lawsuit, U.S. District Court Judge C.J. Williams asked why the ordinance requires a specific number of board members be people of color. The city’s legal counsel said the board was created to promote equitable treatment of citizens and remedy trends rooted in bias.

“Historically and systemically there has been a trend where marginalized communities and people of color have been excluded and have been discriminated against. The only way we can actively work against that is to ensure that there are written out rules that ensure that doesn’t happen,” said ASJ Interim Director of Operations, Mariam Daoud.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the judge gave both sides until Friday to submit further briefs in the case before the Court issues its judgment.