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Forum News Service, Published February 12 2014

Woman alleges racial profiling in ND prostitution case

DICKINSON, N.D. - A woman charged with promoting prostitution in Belfield said Wednesday after her first court appearance that she feels she was racially profiled and that police mishandled her arrest.

Christmas Davis of Oshkosh, Wis., who is black, said she may look into legal action against the Belfield Police Department.

Davis, who bailed out of jail after her Jan. 27 arrest, said at Wednesday’s hearing that she would be applying for a public defender and entered a not guilty plea.

In denying the charges, Davis said she had expected her case to be thrown out immediately.

Belfield City Attorney Sandra Kuntz cited Davis’ criminal record in requesting increased bail and that she be required to stay in the state, but Southwest District Judge Dann Greenwood said that since she showed up Wednesday, he didn’t have reason to think she wouldn’t show up again.

He said she didn’t have to do check-ins every 48 hours as Kuntz requested, only that she had to appear at her May pretrial conference, and otherwise pay $1,000.