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Lawsuit alleges racial profiling in Fairmont

FAIRMONT, W.Va. -- The ACLU of West Virginia has filed a racial profiling lawsuit stemming from the search of a black college student's car in Fairmont.

The suit was filed Tuesday in Marion County Circuit Court against the City of Fairmont, several city police officers, the Marion County Sheriff's Office and a deputy sheriff.

The complaint said Fairmont State University student Justin Byrd was driving downtown when he was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by a white woman. When police arrived, they allegedly questioned Byrd and his black passengers about criminal activity and called in a K-9 unit that searched Byrd's car, damaging its interior and destroying a laptop.

City Attorney Kevin Sansalone said he was unaware of the lawsuit. Sheriff Joseph Carpenter did not immediately respond to a voice-mail message.



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