Civil Rights groups accuse eastern Iowa officers of racial profiling
Several civil rights groups want the Iowa Supreme Court to ban law officers from pulling over people for minor offenses. The ACLU of Iowa, Iowa-Nebraska Conference of the NAACP, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) of Iowa, and 1,000 Kids for Iowa say the practice unfairly targets African Americans.
Linn and Black Hawk County Sheriff's Offices, as well as Cedar Rapids and Waterloo Police Departments, are highlighted in the brief. It says in Waterloo, African Americans make up close to 38 percent of traffic stops. And in Linn County, officers are 25 percent more likely to cite an African American than a person who is white.
The civil rights groups specifically referenced when a Cedar Rapids Police officer pulled over Jerime Mitchell for a burned out license plate light. In November of last year, the traffic stop turned into some sort of alternation. Mitchell drove away with the officer caught in his vehicle's door. Officer Lucas fired his gun, hitting Mitchell in the neck, paralyzing him.