JUSTICE

Murray City settles lawsuit with woman accusing police of racial profiling

Jul 14, 2021, 6:28 PM
Murray Racial profiling...
(Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)

MURRAY, Utah — The City of Murray is settling a lawsuit with a former Utah resident after she claimed she was falsely charged with a DUI because of racial profiling. Was it a case of “driving while Black”?

What happened to Donna Miller? 

In 2018, Donna Miller, a Black woman, was reportedly driving to nursing school. She was then pulled over and required to do multiple field sobriety tests. 

Miller said she passed the sobriety test three times and two breathalyzer tests came back with a reading of .00 alcohol in her bloodstream. Despite this, she was arrested and detained by Murray Police. 

She was terrified, not knowing the reason she was taken into custody. Miller said, “It really did skyrocket my anxiety and my PTSD. I made a lot of therapy visits.”

According to Miller, the arresting officer told other officers that he is convinced Miller was a regular marijuana user. However, she went through several different tests and all of them concluded she had no drugs or alcohol in her system. Despite passing the tests, Miller said she was still charged with a DUI.

“It was still very hard for me to process because I felt this was a smear campaign against me,” she said.

Miller and her attorney, Kristy Kimball, said they can’t think of any reason Miller would have been pulled over and charged other than it being a case of racial profiling. Kimball reported the city prosecutors do not have evidence to support any impairment charges.

“They let her go, but then the prosecutor still charged her with DUI,” Kimball says.

Kimball claims prosecutors tried to convince Miller to plead guilty to a lesser charge, but Miller refused. Miller had to deal with a lot of legal work to get her license reinstated and to have her records expunged of the arrest.

Kimball said the City of Murray offered a settlement in the past, but it was unacceptable.

“We felt like Murray City wasn’t taking it seriously. They had [offered] a very small settlement but it wasn’t meaningful, and, at the time, they weren’t proactively willing to engage in any kind of anti-bias training,” according to Kimball.

Murray City’s response to the accusation of racial profiling 

The City of Murray issued a statement, standing by the officer’s actions. Murray City officials say neither the officer nor the city admits to any wrongdoing, adding that the officer didn’t pull Miller over because of racial profiling. 

The statement reads, “Ms. Miller’s car was seen stopped perpendicular to traffic on State Street straddling two lanes of travel. Ms. Miller turned north on State Street. The officer initiated a traffic stop after he observed Ms. Miller drift at least four times outside her lane of travel.”

However, city officials said the officer was not wearing a body camera, and the dash-cam footage of the arrest didn’t show the officer’s observations before Miller was pulled over.

“The City believes the entire encounter was lawful. However, the City acknowledges that in today’s age of body cameras, not having a body camera on, even when for valid reasons, creates a question in the minds of the public,” the statement reads.

Today’s Top Stories

Justice

centerville arson fire...
Curt Gresseth

What’s behind random acts of violence in Utah?

What's behind a recent spate of random violence in Uta?. A sleeping couple at home in West Valley City is stabbed by an intruder. A stranger enters a home with three elderly people in Centerville and burns it down. Greg Skordas, KSL legal analyst breaks down what he thinks is motivating young people to commit random acts of violence.
6 days ago
An Iranian woman on top of a car bonnet sets her headscarf on fire in central Tehran during protest...
Jessie Yeung, Ramin Mostaghim, Jomana Karadsheh, Mostafa Salem and Jennifer Deaton

Iranian women burn their hijabs as hundreds protest death of Mahsa Amini

The death last week of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, arrested in Tehran by morality police has sparked an outpouring of anger over a range of issues.
7 days ago
pro life utah abortion...
Simone Seikaly

Pro-Life Utah responds to latest abortion questions in Utah

The Pro-Life Utah advocacy group said they stand behind Utah lawmakers who claim that most abortion services in Utah are currently outlawed.
12 days ago
A crowd gathers in front of the Utah State Capitol on Friday, June 24, 2022, to protest the U.S. Su...
Elizabeth Weiler

Utah lawmakers clarify position on abortion trigger law after sending cease and desists to abortion providers

The letter signed by 22 lawmakers argues that even though the trigger law is on hold, abortion is still illegal.
12 days ago
FILE - In this March 6, 2020, file photo, Lori Vallow Daybell glances at the camera during her hear...
REBECCA BOONE

Judge considers barring cameras from Idaho mom’s murder case

A judge might bar cameras from being in the courtroom stating that broad news coverage could make it hard to seat a jury.
12 days ago
"Photo: GraphicStock...
Curt Gresseth

Eagle Mountain accidentally pays cyber-hacker over $1 million

The city of Eagle Mountain was duped into paying a cyber-hacker more than $1 million. Posing as the vendor working for the city on an infrastructure project by hacking into an ongoing email thread, the swindler victimized Eagle Mountain.
16 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Murray City settles lawsuit with woman accusing police of racial profiling