Texas Shakedown Racial Profiling Class Action Lawsuit Settlement
The Texas Shakedown Class Action Lawsuit Settlement is all about stopping racial profiling. Apparently this lawsuit was aimed at a small east Texas town. The former officials of the town are accused of shaking down motorists for cash. The counties of Tenaha and Shelby are involved and have been asked to better document the traffic stops and also better monitor the traffic stops. The lawsuit was actually filed 4 years ago. This was in relation to the drug enforcement program which was established in Tenaha in 2006. Apparently this program was used to shakedown innocent motorists with charges of money laundering. They had to sign over their cash. These people were stopped on U.S. Highway 59. This highway runs from the border to Mexico to Canada. This is actually a drug trafficking route.
Former District Attorney Lynda Kaye Russell and 4 other officials were accused of making black motorists pay cash or have criminal charges brought against them. The defendants will pay the plaintiff’s legal fees which amount to $520,000. Some of the measures that will be put into place because of this settlement are audio recordings of all traffic stops, video recordings or all traffic stops. In addition any cash that is obtained because of the future asset forfeitures can only be used to buy audio equipment or video equipment. The money could also be used for law enforcement training and also for rehabilitation services. In addition it can be used as a donation to nonprofit organizations for mental health. It can also be used for victim’s rights. These measures will be in place for the Tenaha County and the Shelby County law enforcement. The sheriff’s office is exempt however because it is not part of the lawsuit. It is also not part of the settlement.
The judge in the case said that the settlement was approved for business purposes for the county. The counties could not fight the lawsuit because of the high cost. It could cost upwards of $1 million. Hence the counties decided to settle instead as that made more sense than to try to fight it. The defendants also say that they did not violate the constitutional rights of the plaintiffs. However the traffic stops are still being investigated by the Department of Justice. The division within the Department of Justice that is investigating this is the civil rights division.
For the plaintiffs, the Texas Shakedown Class Action Lawsuit Settlement will help to prevent racial profiling. The impartial policing policy will ensure that black motorists are not stopped and asked to give up their cash or face criminal charges. I think this is a terrible thing to have happened and should never happen again anywhere in the States. Sad to say that racial profiling does exist and of course it is not fair.
These cases happen all the time and they happen everywhere. I see racial profiling as more like stereotyping. When you stereotype someone, you base your decisions on how you think they will act or perform or do something. Asians for example are known to be very smart in Math and Science. That is a good stereotype. There are also negative stereotypes. One of them is that all Asians have slits for eyes. So if you pull the corners of your eyes to make them into slits, you are basically mocking the Asians. This is not good. So I can understand how stereotyping can become racial profiling.
So to avoid this from happening, we should not react to another race based on what we think we know of them. Not all Asians are smart or brilliant at Math and Science for example. Nor do I consider making my eyes into slit as mocking the Asians. So it is all a matter of interpretation. The innocent also get stuck in the middle and will end up getting hurt the most. How many times have you cringed on an airplane when you see a mother with a small child? You hope and pray that she does not sit next to you or anywhere near you. That is stereotyping. You think that the child will scream throughout your flight and make your life miserable. It could be the sweetest child ever but your gut reaction is to hope that you get some peace away from a screaming baby or toddler. So before you make any decisions think about the implications of your actions.
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