Maine State Police Trooper John Darcy Cleared of Racial Profiling
An investigation into alleged comments made by Maine State Police Trooper John Darcy before a traffic stop has cleared him of racial profiling.
Maine State Police were made aware of the incident in August of 2020 when the U.S. Attorney's Office notified them of the alleged remarks. The report claimed that a microphone in Darcy's cruiser recorded him making a racial comment about the driver of a vehicle he was about to pull over. According to the Portland Press Herald, they claimed that Darcy said the suspect looked "like a thug."
Colonel John Cote, chief of the Maine State Police, released a statement today revealing the outcome of that incident. He started by pointing out that the traffic stop, in question, did result in federal felony-level charges of drug trafficking. Seized during that stop were 141 grams of cocaine powder, 880 counterfeit prescription pills, and a loaded firearm.
He says, once the video of the stop was released to the public and several media stories were published, the U.S. Attorney's Office dismissed the charges related to the stop. Once the charges were dropped, State Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos, I-Friendship, filed a formal complaint accusing Darcy of serial racial profiling, triggering an extensive investigation. Officials conducted interviews and reviewed more than 1,000 traffic stops conducted by the trooper. Cote said no evidence of wrongdoing was found.
The investigation resulted in no evidence of any pattern of targeting of motorists based on race, or any other trait common to a protected group. Bias-based profiling and/or any other discriminatory practice by members of our agency is strictly prohibited. This includes traffic stops based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, socioeconomic status, age, national origin, or ancestry.
He went on to say that troopers are only allowed to stop or detain suspects when legal authority exists to do so, and they base their enforcement actions on the suspect's conduct and behavior only.