Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Noteworthy News: Attorney to Pursue Racial Profiling Case, despite High Court Ruling

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Noteworthy News: Attorney to Pursue Racial Profiling Case, despite High Court Ruling

Article excerpt

noteworthy news: Attorney to Pursue Racial Profiling Case, Despite High Court Ruling

ONEONTA, N.Y.

An attorney says a group of young African American men will pursue their legal battle accusing the police and State University of New York at Oneonta officials of racial profiling.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would not hear the 1993 case, which would have given the justices an opportunity to speak broadly on the issues of individual rights, race and police power.

While the high court's rejection was disappointing to him, Scott Fein, an Albany attorney who represented the African American plaintiffs, said his clients still had claims pending on other issues in both the state and federal courts and would continue to pursue the case.

"I started this case when I was 40. I'm 51 now. They won't let me into the assisted living center until I'm 65. I figure I have 14 years of litigation left in me to ensure that justice is done," Fein says.

The Supreme Court did not take up the group's claims that police violated their Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches or stops, Fein said. The group can continue to pursue its claim based on equal legal protection in the New York state court system.

"We still believe New York courts will construe the equal protection provisions under the state constitution more broadly than the (federal) courts. We are likely to be afforded more protection there," Fein says.

Fein says he is not surprised that the nation's high court avoided the issue of racial profiling at a time when much of the public supported the idea of giving police broader authority in tracking crime suspects in the wake of the Sept. …

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