US v. Ramos, 09-2251
Challenge to racial profiling in a conviction for transporting aliens following the Madrid bombings
US v. Ramos, 09-2251, concerned a challenge to the district court's denial of defendant's motion to suppress, in a prosecution of defendant for illegally transporting aliens in Charlestown, Massachusetts.
In affirming, the court held that, while in other situations there may be merit to the argument that a description of ethnic appearance is irrelevant and nothing more than impermissible profiling, the argument fails on the facts in this case, as the MBTA attempted to learn from the recent lessons of Madrid and has so trained its employees, and given the recent history of Middle East-originated terrorism, but also the explicit warning issued some eleven weeks prior, of future strikes by the same groups in the U.S., meant it was material for the officers to consider the risk of terrorist attacks on transit stations in major urban centers and that the person they were investigating had a Middle Eastern appearance.
- Read the First Circuit's Full Decision in US v. Ramos, 09-2251