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EL Human Rights Commission forms subcommittee to investigate profiling complaint at library

Front of East Lansing Public Library located on 950 Abbot Road, East Lansing MI
Genevieve Fox
Front of East Lansing Public Library located on 950 Abbot Road, East Lansing MI

A subcommittee of the East Lansing Human Rights Commission will continueinvestigating a complaint against the East Lansing Public Library.

Last month, the commission received a complaint from the mother of a Black teen who says her son was falsely accused of trespassing. The group heard an update on the investigation at its meeting Monday.

At the meeting Elaine Hardy, the city’s director of diversity, equity and inclusion, told the commissioners they had three options regarding the matter.

“You can investigate, choose not to investigate or ask the city attorney to investigate on behalf of the commission,” she said.

The commission decided to form a subcommittee to investigate the matter independent.

Julia Walters, a member of the Human Rights Commission, says the subcommittee is hoping to work with the library to address the issue.

“Hopefully we can get to some type of mediation standpoint, wherein we could have potentially the complainant as well as any people from the library to sit down and have a conversation with each other and end up with a resolution for both parties,” Walters said.

Walters says the investigation subcommittee has already spoken with library officials.

“We formulated a response to let the complainant know that we've met as a subcommittee, and that we are hoping to meet with her son, who the complaint mentions, if she's comfortable with that,” she said.

Walters is hopeful that the committee can arrange a meeting in the coming months with all parties involved to reach a resolution.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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