ACLU of NJ Launches Hotline for Racial Profiling Victims

March 29, 1999 12:00 am

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 29, 1999

NEWARK, NJ – Continuing its campaign for fair, unbiased policing, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey today launched a toll-free hotline for reporting incidents of discriminatory police stops on the New Jersey Turnpike, and distributed “Bust Cards” that tell people what to do if they are stopped by police.

Through the toll-free hotline, 1-877-2-END-DWB (877-236-3392), the ACLU will collect people’s stories of discrimination and use them in its efforts to stop racial profiling, also known as “Driving While Black or Brown.”

Individuals calling the hotline can ask to join the ACLU’s class action lawsuit filed on behalf of minority motorists stopped as a result of racial profiling. Their individual stories will also supplement statistical evidence showing a pattern of discrimination.

The ACLU said it plans to raise awareness of the hotline through public service announcements all along the Eastern seaboard.

The ACLU is also distributing a wallet-sized “Bust Card” that explains “what to do if you’re stopped by the police.” The card, which is also available through the ACLU’s website, is an abbreviated manual of what every citizen should know in case they are stopped by the police for questioning, pulled over on the road, searched, or arrested.

The recommendations range from useful reminders (“Write down everything you remember”) to lesser-known, but important rules (“You can’t legally be arrested for refusing to identify yourself to a police officer”).

“Until racial profiling is ended and other reforms are put in place to ensure fair, unbiased policing, the ACLU believes it is important for people to know what their rights are when stopped by the police,” said Kevin Keenan, Acting Executive Director of the ACLU of New Jersey.

Copies of the wallet card are available via the Internet at www.aclu.org/racialjustice/racialprofiling/15865pub20040714.html or by calling the ACLU of New Jersey at 973-642-2084. The cards are available in English, Spanish, and Korean.

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