Philadelphia, PA

Suit claims 'reverse racial profiling'

February 07, 2000
A white motorist has filed a federal lawsuit against the city and two police officers alleging his civil rights were violated when he was pulled over in a predominately black neighborhood and searched without probable cause.
    Without their knowledge, someone was standing nearby with a video camera on the night of March 28, 1998, filming Officers Brian Sanders and Kenneth Fleming as they strip searched Robert A. Hluchan Jr., handcuffed him and rummaged through his BMW. The tape was made public when Hluchan's lawyers filed suit.
    The suit alleges that after the search the officer's went to the house of Hluchan's girlfriend, who is black, and her grandmother, where he'd been just prior being pulled over, and searched the house without a search warrant or permission.

Man charged with running hate website

January 18, 2000
Federal authorities have charged a man with civil rights violations for running a Web site that threatened a housing activist, a step experts said may be the first of its kind against online hate speech.
    Ryan Wilson and the group he runs 'ALPHA HQ' were charged with violating the Fair Housing Act, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo said Monday. He said the complaint was filed with a HUD judge in Philadelphia last week.
    "Tragically, this case shows that the racism and the terrible discrimination that Dr. King fought so hard to abolish remain alive and well, and have even moved into cyberspace," Cuomo said in his Martin Luther King Day announcement in Washington, D.C.

Man sentenced in noose intimidation case

January 14, 2000
A white man convicted of ethnic intimidation after placing a noose around a black co-worker's neck was sentenced Thursday to serve the next 12 weekends in prison.
      Following the prison sentence, Joe Larose, 35, will be under house arrest for three months and on probation for two years.
      Larose was convicted two months ago of intimidation and simple assault for having approached Dwayne Jackson from behind and looped the noose around his neck while their co-workers at the trucking company erupted in laughter.

NAACP sues over Pa.'s ex-con voting ban

December 28, 1999
The wisdom of the street says that if you do the crime, be prepared to serve the time.
     In Pennsylvania, shedding your prison stripes doesn't make you a full citizen. Inmates convicted of a felony are barred from voting for five years after their release from prison.
     And that, according to the NAACP, which yesterday announced the filing of a friend-of-the-court brief in a federal lawsuit, amounts to a state-sponsored form of discrimination.
     J. Whyatt Mondesire, president of the Philadelphia NAACP, said minorities are treated more harshly by the criminal justice system. He estimated that at least 30,000 African-Americans have lost the right to vote because of a 1995 state voting bill, and that harms their communities. 

Court: NCAA can use tests to judge eligibility

December 23, 1999
The attorney for four black athletes suing the NCAA is considering an appeal of a ruling that allows the organization to use minimum standardized test scores in determining the eligibility of freshman athletes. 
     Attorney Andre Dennis is representing four black athletes who say the NCAA discriminated against them by not allowing them to play or denying them scholarships because their test scores were not high enough. 
     But in a 2-1 opinion on Wednesday, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that since the NCAA did not directly receive federal funding, it was not subject to conform with Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which forbids discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin. 
     The court reversed a lower court that struck down the eligibility requirement in March, ruling that it was unfair to blacks. 

Robbery suspect blames bias for "cultural insanity"

December 23, 1999
A black man accused of bank robbery claims he is innocent by reason of cultural insanity caused by longtime exposure to racism. 
     Blaine E. Gamble, 60, of Philadelphia is awaiting trial on charges that in July 1998 he robbed the First National Bank of Herminie, about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh. 
     According to court documents, Gamble, who was dressed as an elderly woman, entered the bank with an accomplice and robbed tellers at gunpoint. 
     In a motion December 2 before U.S. District Judge William Standish, Gamble requested that a black psychologist or psychiatrist with expertise on cultural insanity examine him. 

Philadelphia bidder sues transportation authority, alleging bias over race

November 05, 1999
A prominent Bala Cynwyd political consultant filed a reverse-discrimination lawsuit against SEPTA in federal court yesterday, alleging that his firm was denied a potential $4.6 million community-relations contract because he is white.
    Larry Ceisler and his partners, who include former City Commissioner Maurice Floyd, allege that the transportation authority's board violated their civil rights by awarding the contract to two African American women, although SEPTA officials originally recommended Ceisler's proposal.
    "I won this contract fair and square, and on merit," said Ceisler, a Democrat. "They wanted a minority to have this. That was very clear."
    The contract, awarded on February 26, was to promote awareness in West Philadelphia about the progress of the $370 million reconstruction of the Frankford-Market El between 46th and 69th Streets and to assist residents and businesses affected by the rebuilding. 

Boy Scouts religious discrimination complaint dropped

July 01, 1999
It is up to the Boy Scouts to determine qualifications for membership, including whether to exclude atheists, according to a decision by a state commission.
    The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission voted, 7-2, Monday night to dismiss a complaint filed by Pocopson resident Margaret Downey arguing that the Boy Scouts organization is substantially public and should therefore be held to state anti-discrimination laws.
    The commission, which heard arguments in Chester County Court in May, made its decision "on the basis that Boy Scouts did not fit the definition of a public accommodation under the state's Human Relations Act," said Laura J. Treaster, a spokeswoman for the commission. 

Study finds gap has vanished in male-female pay

June 02, 1999
The gap in gender pay equity is over.
    At least that's what a study by a conservative think tank, American Enterprise Institute, contends.
    According to the study by Diana Furchtgott-Roth and Christine Stolba, women's earnings have virtually reached parity with men's. In fact, they argue that earnings statistics show that discrimination against women in the workplace is largely disappearing.
    "Women have achieved equal opportunity in terms of education and workplace status," said Furchtgott-Roth, the principal author of "Women's Figures: An Illustrated Guide to the Economic Progress of Women in America."
    She added, "While discrimination still exists, it is not systematic throughout the workplace." 

Death threat case filed in Philadelphia

May 15, 1999
With a masters' degree in human relations, Kimberly A. Lane tackles personnel issues for a clothing distribution company in Northeast Philadelphia.
    According to a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court, Lane, who is white, encountered an altogether different type of human relations problem when she rented a $400-a-month apartment in Port Richmond, a virtually all-white neighborhood.
    Shortly after Lane moved in in mid-March, the landlord, John Cole, allegedly threatened to kill her because Lane, 28, had allowed a close friend, a black woman with two young children, to stay with her overnight on several occasions. 


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