The Manatee County branch of the NAACP is accusing the Bradenton Police Department of racial discrimination. The civil rights organization is referencing public records it recently requested from the department.
Manatee's NAACP president said one of the ways the agency is targeting the black community is police-involved shootings. In the last thirty years, half the citizens shot have been black, when blacks only make up about 16 percent of the population, according to the US Census.
And second is traffic stops. In the last decade, about 21 percent of people stopped in the city have been black.
President Rodney Jones said the culture in Bradenton is very much a “deep south mentality.”
"We felt that racial profiling has been going on for decades in the city of Bradenton where minority communities are targeted, where they do unlawful searches. They request search your vehicles of routine traffic stops-- just real inappropriate conduct and behavior, very disrespectful behavior from officers in the black community," said Jones.
Now, Jones hopes local police and community members can work together to solve these issues, including a new citizens review board of law enforcement. He also wants the state-level NAACP to get involved. The Bradenton Police Department declined to comment for this story.
BELOW: Bradenton Police Department public records acquired by the Manatee County NAACP branch.