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Seattle Faces a Rise in Racial Profiling

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Racial profiling appears to be on the rise in Seattle where African-American teens say they have been increasingly singled out because of the color of their skin. Now, officials of the Seattle King County NAACP are demanding that something be done about the escalating pattern in the area. 

According to the Seattle Times, an African-American high-school senior, Marcus Whitehurst, was a victim of racial profiling when police stopped him and a group of white friends while walking on Seattle’s Capitol Hill.  The offending officers were allegedly suspicious of the group after hearing reports of an earlier incident in a nearby park. According to Whitehurst, after running all of the teens’ IDs, the officers returned only the White teens’ but threw his ID on top of the patrol car. "I asked them what was going on and they began telling me how I would not amount to anything," he told the Seattle Times. “When I reached for my ID they told me to get ... off their car. They were trying to bait me.”

The NAACP says that this incident appears to be part of a growing trend. Although the Seattle Police Department did not confirm a rise in racial profiling, spokesman Sean Whitcom vowed that measures would be taken to tackle the issue. "It doesn't matter if it's 1 or 100. Every complaint is important to us and they will all be looked at," he told the Seattle Times.

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