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Lawsuit alleges officers profiled minority drivers

By Associated Press
Published On: Oct 07 2013 04:57:23 PM MDT
MHP increases holiday patrols
HELENA, Mont. -

A new lawsuit claims the Montana Highway Patrol improperly detained Hispanic drivers over unfounded concerns they were in the country illegally.
    
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court Monday by the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance.
    
It says patrol officers were pulling over the Hispanic drivers for routine traffic violations and detaining them to check their immigration status.
    
The lawsuit argues the agency had no reason or authority to detain the drivers. It says race was the sole basis of the detentions.
    
The Montana Department of Justice says it is reviewing the lawsuit and had no immediate comment.
    
Former Montana Highway Patrol chief Kenton Hickethier resigned this summer amid a personnel complaint that alleged he told an officer to arrest people who might be in the country illegally.