November 17, 2010

Seth Rosenthal quoted in Daily Record article discussing a Maryland racial profiling records case

1 min

Venable Partner Seth Rosenthal was quoted in a November 5 Daily Record article discussing a racial profiling case in Maryland relating to whether state troopers are stopping motorists based on their skin color.

With regard to privacy issues and whether internal documents are protected under the Maryland Public Information Act, Rosenthal said, "the law's overriding goal of shedding light on possible police wrongdoing supersedes the troopers' asserted privacy interest, especially since the group does not object to officers' names and other identifying information being redacted before disclosure."

He added that, "These records reflect up on the state police as an agency and not on individual troopers."

Rosenthal noted that troopers "do not carry with them a reasonable expectation of privacy" regarding traffic stops. "What occurs at traffic stops does not have reasonable expectation of privacy," he said.

In his argument, Rosenthal said, "The General Assembly sought to protect only confidential personnel records, such as test scores or missed workdays, not documents about the troopers' on-the-job activity of pulling over wayward motorists and how often those actions resulted in profiling complaints that were inadequately investigated."