The Municipality of Anchorage is paying more than $250,000 to fight allegations that the Anchorage Police Department discriminates against minorities.
Alvin Kennedy and Eliezer Feliciano worked in the Metro Drug Enforcement Unit, also known as APD's undercover drug unit. The men say the department has a history and pattern of discrimination against minorities.
Both of the men say they were pulled over for traffic stops because of racial profiling, according to court documents. In the court documents Kennedy says that before being pulled over in 2007, he was followed by an officer for nearly five miles.
According to the documents, Kennedy "provided his police credentials and explained that it was his vehicle. The officer continued to query Detective Kennedy."
Municipal Attorney Dennis Wheeler said the city does not think the allegations have merit and it's willing to fight the case instead of settle.
“APD has been working very, very hard over the past few years to improve its relationship with the community and it does not want to settle a case that might then put in people’s mind the notion that APD did something wrong," Wheeler said.
The attorney hired to defend the municipality asked for a gag order citing the plaintiffs' attorney violated the Alaska Rule of Professional Conduct when he made statements to the Alaska Dispatch in 2011.
Documents for the gag order say the plaintiff's attorney must "refrain from contacting the media on this case or making any further comments to the media during the course of this case."
Each man is asking for $2 million in compensation for the alleged discrimination.