From the desk of Col. John Cote, Chief, Maine State Police
In August of 2020, the Maine State Police was contacted by U.S. Attorney’s Office personnel notifying our agency of concerning comments made by Trooper John Darcy as he prepared to stop a vehicle on the Maine Turnpike. That stop resulted in the seizure of 141 grams of cocaine powder, 880 counterfeit prescription pills, and a loaded firearm. The operator was later charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office with a federal felony level crime of drug trafficking. Based on the report from the U.S. Attorney’s office, our agency began an internal review of that stop and the comments made by Trooper Darcy.
After the public release of the video from the stop and several media stories, the U.S. Attorney’s Office dismissed the charges related to the stop. Subsequently, State Representative Jeffrey Evangelos made a formal complaint alleging serial racial profiling by Trooper Darcy.
An extensive investigation was conducted over several months by our Office of Professional Standards in consultation with the Attorney General’s Office. The investigation included several interviews and a thorough examination of over 1,000 traffic stops conducted by Trooper Darcy. The investigation resulted in no evidence of any pattern of targeting of motorists based on race, or any other trait common to a protected group.
Bias-based profiling and/or any other discriminatory practice by members of our agency is strictly
prohibited. This includes traffic stops based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, socioeconomic status, age, national origin, or ancestry. Our agency also requires that persons are only stopped or detained when legal authority exists to do so and that members of our agency base their enforcement actions solely on a person’s conduct and behavior or specific suspect information.
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