Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

September 4, 2013

Fairmont, student settle racial profiling lawsuit


Associated Press

FAIRMONT — The city of Fairmont has settled a lawsuit that claimed police officers engaged in racial profiling and harassed a black college student.

Details of the settlement haven’t been disclosed. But the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia tells media outlets that the city agreed to revise its racial profiling policies.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit in 2012 on behalf of Justin Byrd. The Fairmont State University student said he was harassed and wrongly interrogated following a minor fender-bender in March 2011.

Byrd said police questioned him and his black passengers without cause. He said police also damaged his car and destroyed his laptop during a roadside search.

Under the settlement, the ACLU says Fairmont law enforcement officials agreed to replace Byrd’s laptop and to pay damages for the search.