[act-ma] 12/4-12/5 Support in the courtroom needed for a racial profiling trial [Tue/Wed]

Brian Corr BCorr at UMich.edu
Mon Dec 3 15:07:54 PST 2007

What: Support ACLU staffer King Downing

When: Tuesday 12/4 at 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Where: Courtroom #17 at the Moakley Courthouse (5th Floor), Downtown Boston
(for directions visit <http://www.mad.uscourts.gov/General/Directbos.htm>)

Why: Lawsuit against the MassPort over racial profiling at Logan Airport

Case Number: CA04-12513

If you can be there for any part of this, please let me know (it will help
me to have a count and know what times people will be there).

We especially need people there on Tuesday when the trial starts, and we
need people to fill the courtroom, so your presence will be very
important.Also, we will need people Wednesday (and perhaps Thursday)
between 9:00 and
1:00, so if you can't make it on Tuesday, you can still help us -- and King.

We do NOT want signs or political buttons (i.e. a show of support designed
to sway the jury). They might be viewed by the jury as pandering, which
would NOT be good. What matters is a presence which, in terms of numbers,
reflects the importance of the issues in the case.

Here's the story:

King Downing is a Harvard-educated lawyer who happens to be the National
Coordinator of the ACLU's Campaign Against Racial profiling. In October
2003, King arrived at Logan Airport for a meeting on racial profiling in
Boston. He was making a phone call when a state police trooper demanded that
he produce ID. When King said he wanted to know why, he was told he'd have
to leave the airport if he didn't. He said he was leaving anyway, but when
he tried to go, he was detained briefly -- until he produced his driver's

This case illustrates the danger of giving law enforcement officers
unfettered discretion to detain people. It is a clear case of
unconstitutional racial profiling. King Downing did nothing suspicious -
unless you consider having dark skin and a beard evidence of suspicious
behavior. The ACLU's lawsuit is challenging the constitutionality of the
so-called "behavioral assessment" program adopted by the Massachusetts Port
Authority and the Massachusetts state police to stop and detain people for
questioning at Logan Airport.

For the full story and details on the lawsuit -- Downing v. Massachusetts
Port Authority -- visit

Thanks, and again, please let me know if you can make it, and if so when!


P.S. You can now register online
<http://action.aclum.org/2008conference>for the 2008
ACLU of Mass. Membership Conference
<http://action.aclum.org/2008conference>with Daniel Ellsberg and
Rachel Maddow on Jan. 26!
To register or for more information visit:

Brian Corr
Field Organizer and Public Education Coordinator
ACLU of Massachusetts
211 Congress St., Boston, MA 02110
617.482.3170x321 office
BCorr at ACLUM.org
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