ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) The American Civil Liberties Union, is suing the city, county, and state on behalf of Black Lives Matter protestor, Clifton White. Lawsuits have been filed against the Albuquerque Police Department, Metropolitan Detention Center, the Probation and Parole Board, and the Department of Corrections.
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Leon Howard, the Legal Director at the ACLU of New Mexico says, “These cases really put a microscope on how Black men in our country are treated by every component of the criminal legal system.”
White had organized a protest following the death of George Floyd and was later arrested. Police say White failed to report to his parole office and was suspected of stealing a car. The ALCU claims White was wrongfully on parole at the time of the protest and was targeted by the police department. Howard explains, “The government had control of every action that he made out in society when he should have been a free man.”
They also say that when White arrived at the Metropolitan Detention Center, a deputy chief called him a racial slur and he was played in solitary confinement for two weeks.
White ended up behind bars for four months. Howard continues, “There are several instances of Black men, Black people using their voice, using their rights under the first amendment and that being viewed as criminal behavior as opposed to speech.”
White and his wife showed up at an FBI shooting near Wyoming and Indian School in July to protest. The couple is accused of crossing the crime scene tape and when asked to leave they got combative. Deputies arrested White on obstruction and assault on a peace officer charges.
KRQE News 13 reached out to the groups named in the lawsuit but no one could comment.