SPLC files lawsuit against Fairfield police chief for alleged refusal to release documents

      FAIRFIELD, Ala. -- The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) filed suit today against Fairfield Police Chief Leon Davis Jr. after he allegedly refused to release public documents related to possible racial profiling of Latino day laborers in his city. The lawsuit was filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court, and it alleges that Davis is withholding documents that allegedly prove that Latino construction workers are being wrongfully targeted by police. "By law, the public has a right to view these records," said Michelle Lapointe, SPLC staff attorney. "We are merely asking that the police chief abide by state law and provide transparency about how his department enforces the ordinance. We want to ensure that this ordinance is being enforced without racial profiling or unconstitutionally targeting low-wage workers." The SPLC and NDLON first filed requests for the documents including arrest reports, complaint forms and other public records in April, according to a release. "We are seeking these records to shed light on whether Fairfield is respecting the rights of the hardworking Alabama residents who contribute to its economy."

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