Raids on Illegal Gambling Called Racist
Attorneys representing people arrested during a series of Indiana gambling raids say that enforcement of gaming laws in the state follows a racially discriminatory pattern. According to lawyer Kenneth Roberts and associates, records show a highly disproportionate number of arrests pertaining to gambling involve African-Americans.
The case in which Roberts is currently engaged is the result of a raid on two Indianapolis houses suspected of hosting illegal gambling. Eleven people, all African-American, were arrested, and $6000 in cash was seized.
"I'm asking the prosecutor and the mayor to go back 10 years and pull all the professional gambling arrests and prosecutions and I'm sure it will show the African-American community is prosecuted more so than the white community," said Roberts.
In a written letter, Roberts asserts that dice games and other forms of gambling popular in the black community are the focus of police enforcement, while poker games and illegal slot macxhines gert a free pass.
Prosecutors deny targeting operations in certain neighborhoods, and say they investigate complaints based on the law, not racial profiling. They note the number of complaints received from the residents around the busted gaming houses, which are accused of luring crime, drugs, and guns to the area.
Paolice also say they have begun forfeiture proceedings against the owners of the two raided houses. No record is found of any upscale seizures of homes for hosting poker games or other high-stakes gambling.
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