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Brown v. City of Oneonta

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
221 F.3d 329 (2000)


An elderly woman reported to the City of Oneonta Police Department (defendant) that her house had been broken into. The woman could not identify the perpetrator but did note that he was male, young, black, and had cut his hand on a knife. A police dog traced the scent of the perpetrator to nearby State University of New York College at Oneonta (SUCO). The police received a list of all of the black male students at SUCO and interviewed those students. The police also conducted field investigations in the city, stopping and questioning young, nonwhite males about the incident and looking for cuts on hands. Brown and others who were on the SUCO list or who were stopped and questioned on the street (plaintiffs) brought suit, claiming that the investigation tactics constituted racial profiling in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The City of Oneonta filed a motion for summary judgment.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning

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