Photo Credit: Greg Bulla
Black Customs Officers File Lawsuit For Alleged Discrimination At Border
Three Black U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have had enough of what they say is discrimination at the Michigan and Canada border. That’s why they are suing the Department of Homeland Security alleging that Black travelers at the Blue Water Bridge between Port Huron and Sarnia are harassed and targeted.
“There needs to be some accountability for what’s going on. It needs to be exposed,” Officer Johnny Grays, one of the plaintiffs in the case, told the Detroit Free Press in an interview.
Grays said racial profiling at the Port Huron-Canada border “is a daily thing,” adding that the main purpose of the lawsuit “is to expose and change that.”
Of the 275 CPB officers who work at that location, only four are reportedly Black. Nationwide, Black people account for less than 6% of the entire workforce of 21,185. Yet, more than 60% are white, and another 25% are Hispanic.
Data issued in a report from the American Civil Liberties of Union of Michigan for the last nine years revealed that more than 95% of 13,000 those arrested by Border Patrol in Michigan are people of color.
“These are issues that we are seeing over and over. There have not been consequences in a culture of racism, of a brotherhood that protects other officers at all costs,” said Katy Murdza of the American Immigration Council and co-author of the report titled: “The Legacy of Racism within the U.S. Border Patrol.”
Similar racial profiling lawsuits have been filed over the years in Montana, Virginia, Texas, Washington, Ohio, and Maine.