GA Convenience Store Sting Results in ACLU Suit
As TalkLeft observed here, it was unfair of undercover officers to base arrests on their use of drug slang while purchasing legal products, like sudafed and charcoal, from Georgia convenience stores staffed by clerks from India who didn't understand that "cook" referred to "manufacturing methamphetamine," not "grilling burgers." The officers' tactics raised questions about the selective targeting of a minority population for a dubious criminal prosecution.
An ACLU investigation produced compelling evidence that the Indian clerks were targeted because they wouldn't understand the officers' drug slang, while white clerks selling the same products were ignored. The ACLU has filed suit on behalf of the clerks.
Documents filed by the A.C.L.U. yesterday include a sworn statement from an informant in the sting, saying that federal investigators sent informants only to Indian-owned stores, "because the Indians' English wasn't good." The informant said investigators ignored the informant's questions about why so many South-Asian-owned stores were visited in the sting.
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