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North Carolina’s Winston-Salem Police Department wants permission to use asset forfeiture funds, obtained via the federal equitable sharing program, to engage in an air patrol of the city in partnership with Alamance, Davidson, Guilford, and Randolph counties. The U.S. Department of Justice recently suspended the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office’s access to equitable sharing program payments amid allegations the sheriff’s office engaged in a pattern of discriminatory policing–including a pattern or practice of unlawful and unreasonable seizures targeting Latinos.

The Winston-Salem Police Department itself is no stranger to such allegations. Earlier this year, the department adopted new policies executing checkpoints after an American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation (ACLU-NCLF) investigation “found that approximately 85 percent of the 244 checkpoints placed throughout the city during an 11-month period were placed in minority neighborhoods.” The investigation was triggered by complaints of discriminatory policing:

“Our investigation really started with business owners and citizens complaining about [driver’s license] checkpoints, and then we started hearing similar complaints from people in different parts of the city,” [said Raul Pinto, Racial Justice Attorney for the ACLU-NCLF].

Complainants expressed concerns to the ACLU that the police department was targeting Latino residents and focusing its efforts almost exclusively in minority neighborhoods in the city.

“We heard that the checkpoints were being conducted consistently in the same intersection — we heard that most often, and we heard that police were waving Caucasian drivers through the checkpoints, and stopping Hispanic drivers,” Pinto said. (Keith Barber, ACLU Continues Investigation of WSPD License Checkpoints, Yes Weekly, 23 Nov. 2011.)


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1 Response » to “Winston-Salem PD wants to use asset forfeiture funds to patrol the sky in partnership with the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office”

  1. JACOB RUSSELL says:

    I’m sure black and Latinos. Let’s talk real talk. The police are not pulling over soccer moms are the white kid running red lights it’s all blacks and latinos. Nothing new. In the county of palo pinto in Texas the cops are out on the interstate robbing travelers. Yet this same county has three young missing children that noone seams intersted in finding. Oh yea real cops real people to look up to. I don’t think so while these crooked cops are sitting on there butts sipping coffee. It’s more important to the cops to go rob a traveler rather than finding these missing children. So that the kids can be reunited with there families. You want to live a life of crime join the police force. How many times have you seen a cop take. The stand in court and just flat out lie ? Like one case in this same county a cop was about to shoot this black man in the head because when ask to empty his pockets the black man pulled out a pocket knife and the cop was scared for his life and the black guy was 15 to 20 feet away from all three cops. Now is that good judgement to kill a man who has a pocket knife. Don’t send the k-9 after him don’t beat him with a Billie club and never pepper spray him just shoot him in his head. Cops like this are still on the force getting paid. So if a cop has a history of only stopping blacks and Latinos then that cop should be fired if you can’t be fair with this job, then strip them of there power and of there authority. Let’s face it cops don’t earn anything they drive cars all over town that they did not have to buy the get free gas among a bunch of other things easy job easy living. Is a bunch of crapp force them to buy and pay for there homes cars and gas like all other hard working folks in the world. Robbing people on the highway while small children are missing in your town that’s a crock of u no what in my opinion

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