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Rev. Jackson Targets Race Profiling

March 4, 2000

CHICAGO (AP) _ The Rev. Jesse Jackson on Saturday called for Congress to hold hearings on racial profiling among police, in the judicial system and in expulsion policies in schools.

``This is an old sick phenomenon with a new name,″ said Jackson during a rally at his Chicago headquarters. ``It used to be called just racism. Now they dress it up and call it racial profiling.″

Jackson was flanked by attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr. and several Highland Park police officers who have accused their department of targeting minority drivers.

He also announced plans for a Chicago ``Day of Dignity″ march on April 4 that will focus on ending the ``expelling, shelling and jailing″ of minorities. April 4 is the day Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968.

Jackson had hoped to make his announcement with Kadiatou Diallo, mother of slain West African immigrant Amadou Diallo, and the Rev. Al Sharpton at his side. But they canceled because Diallo was ill.

Nevertheless, Jackson used the rally to call for civil rights charges against the four New York City police officers acquitted in the shooting death of Amadou Diallo.

Jackson said the officers were driven by racial fear when they shot the unarmed man outside his Bronx apartment last year. Jackson said he was disturbed to hear a juror say that race wasn’t discussed during deliberations.

``The jury’s tragic mistake was that they never discussed race in the jury room,″ Jackson said. ``That’s like trying a drowning case without discussing water.″

The Justice Department is reviewing the case to determine if federal civil rights charges should be filed.

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