State Trooper Under Investigation For Allegedly Targeting Hispanic Drivers
Posted April 5, 2002 5:25 a.m. EST
DURHAM, N.C. — The state Highway Patrol has launched an internal investigation into allegations of racial profiling by one of its troopers.
The case was brought to the attention of the Highway Patrol by a Durham attorney. Leonor Childers said before a trial that Trooper Clinton Carroll allegedly made comments that sounded like he targets Hispanic men on DWI stops in the Durham area.
"That is not acceptable under our laws, under our legal system and it was for me, an issue that couldn't be ignored," Childers said.
Local Hispanic leaders agree with the investigation.
"I think it is an important investigation to have. Latinos report to us that they have been, in many occasions, targeted in their apartment complex and places they go," Ivan Parra, director of El Centro Hispano said.
According to state Highway Patrol records over the past two years, of the 41 DWI arrests Carroll has made, 68 percent of those charged were Hispanics. Yet, of the 1,200 tickets that he has handed out overall, 20 percent of those were Hispanics.
"There's some answers that we need to find. There's more information that is needed and this will be a more in-depth investigation," Sgt. Everett Clendenin of the state Highway Patrol said.
Childers is filing a motion seeking the dismissal of charges by Carroll against five other Hispanic drivers.
The state Highway Patrol said it does not have any prior complaints about Carroll targeting minorities. Carroll has been placed on paid leave.