JACKSON, Miss. — A doctoral student from St. Louis University is suing the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. Cathryn Stout says she was traveling with Raymond Montgomery back in 2012 when they were pulled over on i55, racially profiled, and had their rights violated.
“It was clear to them that the reason they had been stopped was they were black, they were driving a Lexus, and had out of state tags,” said Legal Director Bear Atwood with the ACLU of Mississippi.
Stout says she was pulled over after a trooper pulled up beside her car and looked at them. The officer told Stout her perfectly legal license plate holder was the reason she was stopped. That legality confirmed by Stout’s lawyer. After not consenting to a search, all of their luggage was still searched and even the panels of her doors were taken out. Troopers found nothing and sent them on their way.
Stout also claims troopers told her to stop recording the incident on her camera phone.
“If you can’t observe, watch, and document, you can’t hold your government accountable, recording police officers in the furtherance their duties, really is a first amendment right.”
Atwood also says the trooper did not even file and incident report.