The Times West Virginian

Local News

September 5, 2013

Racial profiling lawsuit settled

‘Policy changes,’ not big monetary award, follow 2011 accident on High Level Bridge

FAIRMONT — The racial profiling lawsuit filed by the West Virginia ACLU against the Fairmont City Police Department and the Marion County Sheriff’s Department on behalf of a black Fairmont State University student has been settled.

In March 2011, Justin Byrd was involved in a minor rear-end collision on the High Level Bridge. The civil rights suit claimed that he was harassed and wrongly interrogated by officers from both departments.

His passengers, who were also black, were questioned “without cause,” according to the lawsuit. During an hour-long search, his laptop and auto were damaged. The driver who caused the accident, a white female, was not questioned by police.

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