The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah Foundation, Inc. (ACLU) and Holland & Hart, LLP filed a lawsuit on June 29, 2020 against the City of Murray and Jarom Mohlman Allred concerning the unlawful arrest and prosecution of a 59-year-old black woman accused of driving under the influence of an illegal substance on August 21, 2018. The case was settled on July 14, 2021.
ACLU of Utah and Holland & Hart Settle Civil Rights Lawsuit on Behalf of Donna Miller
On July 14, 2021, the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah Foundation, Inc. (ACLU) and Holland & Hart LLP announced a settlement in a civil rights lawsuit filed against the Murray City Police Department on behalf of Donna Miller, a 62-year-old Black woman.
As part of the settlement, Ms. Miller received $152,000 to resolve her allegations of racial bias by a Murray police officer during an August 2018 traffic stop that resulted in her arrest and subsequent charges, suspension of her license, and seizure of her vehicle due to claims that she was driving under the influence. Ms. Miller was forced to retain legal counsel to dismiss the wrongful charges, pay fines and expenses, reinstate her driver’s license, and clear her record even after Murray City dropped all charges against her.
Read Full Press Release (PDF)
The plaintiff, Donna R. Miller, is a 20+ year member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Ms. Miller moved to Salt Lake County, Utah in 2017 to attend a part-time nursing school program at LDS Business College. Ms. Miller was in the third semester of this program, while also working part-time as a patient care technician at a local hospital, when the racially-motivated, traumatic stop, seizure, and arrest incident occurred.
According to the lawsuit, a white policeman employed by Murray City recognized by his fellow officers as an “attention hound” who engages in improper, often dangerous, misconduct, engaged in blatant and illegal racial profiling that violated Ms. Miller’s civil and constitutional rights. As detailed in the complaint, the officer initially stopped Ms. Miller on the pretext that she had no car insurance on file, which she quickly rebutted by showing the officer her proof of insurance. Without probable cause or even reasonable suspicion, the officer then accused her of driving under the influence of an illegal substance, which she strongly and consistently denied.
Inside Sources: One traffic stop, two stories regarding the arrest of a Black woman in Utah (KSL Newsradio, July 22, 2020) [Web] [Audio #1] [Audio #2]
Woman claims officer profiled her in DUI arrest because she is Black, lawsuit states (Deseret News, July 1, 2020) [PDF]
Utah woman sues Murray City on claims of racial profiling, wrongful arrest (KUTV, June 30, 2020) [PDF]
Utah woman sues Murray police alleging racial bias in traffic stop (Salt Lake Tribune, June 30, 2020) [PDF]
Black woman sues Utah police officer for unlawful arrest (Associated Press, June 30, 2020) [PDF]
Black Woman Sues Murray City Over 2018 Arrest, Alleging Racial Bias (KUER, June 29, 2020) [PDF]
ACLU of Utah and Holland & Hart Settle Civil Rights Lawsuit on Behalf of Donna Miller [July 14, 2021] (PDF)
Complaint (June 29, 2020] (PDF)