Police Turn Over Files In Open Records Lawsuit

JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) -- Police have released a sample of records after The Jackson Sun newspaper won an open records lawsuit against the department.

Since the mid-1990s, the department has records from interviews with people who have been stopped and sometimes photographed by police officers. They are kept on file regardless of whether the person identified on the card is the suspect in an active investigation.

The newspaper filed a lawsuit against the city for access to these and other public records in 2005.

This month, the department turned over a sample of the field interviews representing 926 people who were stopped between 2004 and 2007. The newspaper and the Nashville chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union got the sample.

Hedy Weinberg, ACLU Nashville executive director, said a preliminary review of the sample raises concern about racial profiling.

Police Chief Rick Staples said the people were interviewed because the officer had reasonable suspicion to believe a crime has occurred, or is about to occur or is investigating a crime.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)