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Black lawyer says deputy detained him at court based on race

March 27, 2019

BEL AIR, Md. (AP) — An African-American lawyer has filed a complaint against a Maryland sheriff’s deputy who detained him after mistaking him for a suspect.

Rashad James with Maryland Legal Aid tells news outlets a Harford County deputy thought he was his client impersonating a lawyer and questioned him at the county courthouse. James’ client is also black and wasn’t present when being represented by James on March 6.

James says the officer didn’t believe his driver’s license was valid. James says he was the only black attorney in the courtroom and it was his first time representing a client in Harford County.

James says the deputy was racially motivated, and his complaint asks for an internal investigation and a record made in the officer’s personnel file. Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler says in a statement that his office is investigating.

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