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Ferndale Police Deny ACLU Racial Profiling Claim

FERNDALE (WWJ/AP) - The Ferndale Police Department is denying allegations that it possibly engages in racial profiling after an American Civil Liberties Union study found the department ticketed a disproportionate number of black motorists.

The ALCU said it analyzed thousands of tickets issued in Ferndale, near 8 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue, between January 2013 and May 2014 and found about 60 percent of ticketed motorists were black when the driver's race was known, the Macomb Daily reported.

Census data showed Ferndale's population was less than 10 percent black in 2010.

The ACLU said it will continue to investigate the situation and wants more information from the department. It suggested Ferndale police appoint independent experts to conduct an in-depth statistical study and evaluation of the department's practices.

Ferndale Police Chief Timothy Collins said he received a letter from the ACLU Tuesday and is ready to meet with the group. He said the department is taking the allegation "very seriously," and he strongly believes racial profiling is not occurring.

The ACLU said it launched the study after receiving multiple complaints regarding possible racially motivated traffic stops in Ferndale. It called the findings "startling." In one instance, a single Ferndale officer issued 4,189 citations during the period that the ACLU examined -- 66 percent (2,404) of which were issued to black drivers. Another officer issued 4,025 total citations, with 64 percent (2,399) going to black drivers.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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