Discussion continues on ACLU's report of racial profiling - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Discussion continues on ACLU's report of racial profiling

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The NAACP invited local law enforcement to field questions from a crowd at M0orris Brown AME Church Thursday.

The hope is to discuss a recent ACLU report that says cops target African-Americans unfairly in the war on drugs.

Dot Scott, with the NAACP, and the Charleston County Sheriff, Al Cannon, agree often police arrest black men for marijuana possession more than their white counterparts.

Cannon says there's more to the story.

"We are targeting problem areas not races," he explained.

The study from the ACLU finds blacks in South Carolina were arrested for marijuana possession at 2.8 times the rate of whites in 2010, despite comparable usage rates.

Cannon says for other crimes, there are disparities where whites are more often the culprits.

He goes on to tell News 2 the report's primary object is decriminalizing using the drug.

The report says:

"The aggressive enforcement of marijuana possession laws needlessly mires hundreds of thousands of people in the criminal justice system, crowds our jails, wastes billions of taxpayers' dollars, fails to reduce marijuana use and availability, diverts precious police resources away from solving serious crimes, and is carried out with staggering racial bias."

Whatever the reason for the report, Dot Scott says the disparity needs to disappear.

"We talk about we have a war on drugs. No we have a war on people. War is on people and on African- American people and the community suffers.

The meeting at the Fellowship Hall of Morris Brown AME Church starts at 6:30PM.

 

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