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Groups seek Md. 'profiling' documents

The Maryland American Civil Liberties Union, Maryland NAACP branches and a coalition of media groups are urging the state’s highest court to uphold a ruling requiring police to turn over documents relating to racial profiling allegations.

In February the state’s intermediate court ordered the Maryland State Police department to turn over about 10,000 documents relating to the long-running legal battle known as the "Driving While Black" case. New briefs filed Friday urge the state’s supreme court to uphold the lower court’s ruling.

The NAACP wants to inspect the documents to determine whether state police are properly investigating allegations of racial profiling by troopers. State police argue the documents are confidential personnel records.

Attorneys for The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, a nonprofit organization that provides free legal advice to journalists, have also asked for permission to file a brief in support of the intermediate court ruling.

In a brief joined by 13 other news media groups, the organization wrote that exempting the internal records from disclosure “would serve as a serious blow to journalists and the public who depend on them to hold the police accountable for their actions.”

The Associated Press was one of the organizations that joined the brief. The court still has to accept the brief by the Reporters Committee and media organizations.

-- The Associated Press.

By Washington Post Editors  | October 5, 2010; 7:48 AM ET
Categories:  From the Courthouse, Maryland  
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