This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Emanuel Maurice Matthews, Sr.,
Stearns County District Court
File No. T0008818
Jan F. Petersen, St. Cloud City Attorney, Gary N. Gustafson, Matthew A. Staehling, Assistant City Attorneys, 400 Second Street South, St. Cloud, MN 56301 (for respondent)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Michael F. Cromett, Assistant Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge, Halbrooks, Judge, and Stoneburner, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Appellant contends the district court erred in denying appellant’s motion to dismiss the charge of Driving After Revocation on the ground that the random license check leading to the traffic stop was motivated by a discriminatory purpose. Appellant also argues that the district court erred in denying his motion to compel discovery. We affirm.
Appellant contends the district court erred in concluding that the statistical evidence presented by appellant to support his motion to dismiss his charge of Driving After Revocation failed to establish the prima facie elements of an equal protection claim under the United States and Minnesota Constitutions. We disagree.
The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendmentto the United States Constitution prohibits intentional, discriminatory enforcement of nondiscriminatory laws. City of Mpls. v. Buschette, 240 N.W.2d 500, 502 (1976) (citation omitted). A criminal defendant may raise the defense of discriminatory enforcement of criminal laws by law enforcement officials on all levels. Buschette, 240 N.W.2d at 503. Appellant has the burden of producing evidence of discrimination by a clear preponderance of the evidence. Id.
To prove discriminatory enforcement,
[a] defendant bears the heavy burden of establishing, at least prima facie, (1) that, while others similarly situated have not generally been proceeded against because of conduct of the type forming the basis of the charge against him, he has been singled out for prosecution, and (2) that the government’s discriminatory selection of him for prosecution has been invidious or in bad faith, i.e., based upon such impermissible considerations as race, religion, or the desire to prevent his exercise of a constitutional right.
State v. Russell, 343 N.W.2d 36, 37 (Minn. 1984).
Here, appellant sought to show he was subject to discriminatory enforcement alleging that he was subjected to two random license checks because of his race. To support his claim, appellant presented expert statistical evidence regarding the likelihood that he would be the subject of two random license plate checks. But respondent also presented expert testimony challenging appellant’s analysis. Specifically, respondent noted that although both random checks occurred downtown, appellant’s statistical evidence was based on police activity throughout St. Cloud. Thus, respondent argues, appellant’s statistics fail to take into consideration the fact that there are more police officers and more police activity downtown where there is a higher number of calls for service. See Russell, 343 N.W.2d at 38 (finding it reasonable that most of the offenders in predominantly black neighborhoods were black and prima facie case was not established because the predominantly black neighborhoods in which police were conducting an undercover operation were plagued by a high residential burglary rate); see also State v. Woodard, 378 N.W.2d 32, 35 (Minn. App. 1986) (concluding that although the police decoy unit arrested a percentage of minorities greater than that present in the community as a whole, the evidence was not sufficient to show discriminatory intent because the decoy operations were located in various parts of the city where crime statistic reports showed high theft rates).
In addition, the district court made a number of findings, supported by the evidence, that took issue with other aspects of appellant’s statistical evidence. The court found that: (1) the sample size on which appellant’s analysis is based was so small that a deviation in any of the numbers would yield a significant result, such that the results are grossly distorted; (2) the data relied on by appellant failed to take into consideration any police license checks resulting in gross misdemeanors or misdemeanor/payable citations; (3) the data failed to account for situations where the race of the driver was unknown when the license was checked (e.g., the random check of unoccupied cars in a parking lot); and (4) the data failed to establish that random checks were based on race, rather than social class. On this record we conclude the district court did not err in determining that appellant failed to establish by a clear preponderance of the evidence that the actions of the police officers in conducting random license checks had a discriminatory effect on him.
In addition to establishing discriminatory effect, appellant also had the burden of establishing discriminatory purpose. Pers. Adm’r of Mass. v. Feeney, 442 U.S. 256, 272-74, 99 S. Ct. 2282, 2293 (1979). Discriminatory purpose implies the officer selected a particular course of action at least in part because of its adverse effects on a particular group. Feeney, 442 U.S. at 279, 99 S. Ct. at 2296. Again appellant relies on statistical evidence to show discriminatory purpose. But the same shortcomings in the statistical evidence identified by the district court result in the court’s conclusion that appellant failed to establish discriminatory purpose. And although appellant included cites to newspaper articles reporting a perception of racial tension in St. Cloud, including articles indicating the community felt African Americans were the reason for the increase in crime, the articles do not mention the officers who checked appellant’s license plate or provide evidence that the police were motivated by discriminatory intent. We therefore conclude that the district court did not err in dismissing appellant’s motion on the ground that appellant’s evidence failed to establish the prima facie elements of a claim of discriminatory enforcement.
Appellant argues that the district court erred in denying his motion to compel additional discovery, contending the statistical evidence he presented established the requisite good cause. We disagree.
In misdemeanor cases, without order of the court the prosecuting attorney on request of the defendant or defense counsel shall, prior to arraignment or at any time before trial, permit the defendant or defense counsel to inspect the police investigatory reports. Any other discovery shall be by consent of the parties or by motion to the court.
Minn. R. Crim. P. 7.03.
Initially we note that contrary to appellant’s argument, the district court has discretion in deciding this discovery motion and is not required to follow the more extensive discovery requirements of Minn. R. Crim. P. 9.01. State v. Davis, 592 N.W.2d 457, 459 (Minn. 1999).
In addition, appellant’s argument that good cause has been established based on his statistical evidence is conclusory and not persuasive based on the district court’s findings regarding the inadequacy of the statistical evidence. Moreover, the district court found that the effort to produce some of the information sought would be time and cost prohibitive and that other materials sought by appellant were in public records that are available for appellant to review. We agree and conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying appellant’s motion to compel discovery.