Tennessee ACLU joins national fight to get FBI records

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 9:05pm
Staff reports

The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee on Tuesday asked that the Federal Bureau of Investigation turn over records related to the agency’s collection and use of race and ethnicity data in local communities.

The ACLU contends the documents reveal the “FBI’s attempt to collect and map demographic data using race-based criteria for targeting purposes invites unconstitutional racial profiling by law enforcement.”

The public information inquiry came ACLU offices across the nation filed similar requests to the FBI in unison.

Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee, said a criminal justice system that is unfair to racial and ethnic minorities should not be tolerated.

“Racial profiling –– using race, religion and ethnicity instead of suspicious behavior to prompt law enforcement or domestic intelligence investigations –– is indicative of the injustice that unfortunately runs through our criminal justice system, too often leading to disparate treatment of African-American, Middle Eastern and Latino men and women,” Weinberg said in a written statement.

At is issue is the FBI’s authority to collect information about and map “ethnic-oriented” businesses, behaviors, lifestyle characteristics and cultural traditions in communities with concentrated ethnic populations. The approach is outlined in the 2008 FBI’s Domestic Intelligence and Operations Guide.

“The FBI’s mapping of local communities and businesses based on race and ethnicity, as well as its ability to target communities for investigation based on supposed racial and ethnic behaviors, raises serious civil liberties concerns,” said Michael German, ACLU policy counsel and former FBI agent.

“Creating a profile of a neighborhood for criminal law enforcement or domestic intelligence purposes based on the ethnic makeup of the people who live there or the types of businesses they run is unfair, un-American and will certainly not help stop crime,” he said.

9 Comments on this post:

By: ghost7638ghost7... on 7/27/10 at 7:47

ACLU is a communist organization, they are out to destroy the American way of life. These people are as dangerous as the Muslin idoits.

By: bfra on 7/28/10 at 5:27

ACLU & NAACP are nothing but racist groups, in the worst way.

By: JSBrown303 on 7/28/10 at 6:49

Hmmm.. I didn't know that Tennessee had it's own branch of the "Anti Christian Liberal Union".

"The churches of Christ salute you." -Romans 16:16

By: morpheus120 on 7/28/10 at 8:21

I didn't hear any of you wingnuts complaining when the ACLU supported the right of a Christian student here in TN to preach in a public park.

Or when they supported the right of a Christian group to protest a gay rights rally.

Or when they argued in favor of the right of Christians to display a cross in a public forum.

There are literally hundreds of examples of the ACLU defending free speech and religious freedom for Christians all across the country. Take a look if you dare:


You lazy idiots should quit listening to the liars on Faux News or Con Radio and get the facts before you go shooting off your mouths.

By: Tull on 7/28/10 at 8:43

Wouldn't the Obama administrations statement that "right wing" Christian southern white people are a terror threat be considered racial profiling?

By: bfra on 7/28/10 at 8:58

Tull - Who made that statement & when?

By: wayitis on 7/28/10 at 9:05

If they a deem a particular area to be more dangerous than other how that not stop crime? If higher crime exists in a black neighbor would it not be safer for the law abiding citizens that reside there. The moment Law enforecement officials do not protect and serve, The ACLU would step in and say it was because those neighborhoods are full of minorities.

By: bart37064 on 7/28/10 at 3:02

Go to North Nashville tonight and walk around until dawn - then tell me about racial profiling.

By: Tull on 7/29/10 at 9:11

(U//FOUO) Lone Wolves and Small Terrorist Cells
(U//FOUO) DHS/I&A assesses that lone wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent rightwing
extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States. Information
from law enforcement and nongovernmental organizations indicates lone wolves and small terrorist
cells have shown intent—and, in some cases, the capability—to commit violent acts.
— (U//LES) DHS/I&A has concluded that white supremacist lone wolves pose the most
significant domestic terrorist threat because of their low profile and autonomy—separate from
any formalized group—which hampers warning efforts.
— (U//FOUO) Similarly, recent state and municipal law enforcement reporting has warned of the
dangers of rightwing extremists embracing the tactics of “leaderless resistance” and of lone
wolves carrying out acts of violence.
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