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Class Action Lawsuit Claims Madison Co. Sheriff's Dept. Targets Blacks
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ACLU News Conf. Announcing Class Action Lawsuit
Desare Frazier

A class action lawsuit filed against the Madison County Sheriff's Department accuses deputies of widespread systematic raciaprofiling. 

"It just traumatized me. I've been scared ever since," said Khadafy Manning. 

Khadafy Manning and his wife Quinnetta of Canton, say about a year ago, deputies came to their apartment demanding they write statements saying their neighbor committed a crime. The Mannings say they told the deputies they know their rights and refused because the accusation wasn't true. A deputy called Khadafy "Crip" because he walks with a cane, according to the couple, and then choked him in front of their children.

"Once he choked him, he told him that he had to write it or he was going to jail him and he was going to jail both of us. So I decided to go ahead and write it because I had kids," said Quinnetta Manning. 

Khadafy says he was put in a patrol car in his underwear and beaten. He signed the statement. The pair have joined a class action lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Mississippi, accusing the Madison County Sheriff's Department of systematically targeting Blacks. Attorney Jonathan Youngwood says Black residents suffer from chronic fear and anxiety. 

"We see many Blacks in the community being targeted, being subject to inappropriate searches, inappropriate invasions of their homes, going through inappropriate roadblocks on the streets, going through inappropriate roadblocks on the sidewalks. Jump out patrols where plain clothes police officers come out of the dark," said Youngwood.  

Youngwood says the policing practices violate the 4th Amendment, protection from unreasonable searches and seizures and the 14th Amendment's equal protection under the law clause. Madison County Sheriff Randy Tucker says he's never been approached by the ACLU to talk about their concerns. He says his department has provided information they requested that isn't exempt by law.  Monday afternoon the sheriff said he hadn't received the filing yet.