After getting in some hot water for blaming blacks for Maine’s heroin problem, Gov. Paul LePage (R) said Wednesday that he started collecting mugshots of all the drug dealers in his state to prove his statements connecting drugs and race.
Seven months ago, Gov. Lepage said “guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty” are bring in drugs from nearby cities and “impregnate a young white girl before they leave.”
According to the Portland Press Herald, during a town hall in North Berwick on Wednesday, a New York businessman asked LePage how he expected to bring investors into the state when his comments create a “toxic environment.”
“I made the comment that black people are trafficking in our state. Now, ever since I said that comment I’ve been collecting every single drug dealer who has been arrested in our state,” the governor said, then invited him to examine the binder if he wanted to.
“I don’t ask them to come to Maine and sell their poison, but they come,” LePage added. “And I will tell you that 90-plus percent of those pictures in my book – and it’s a three-ringed binder – are black and Hispanic people from Waterbury, Connecticut, the Bronx and Brooklyn.”
When The New Yorker asked LePage if the state’s police officers are racially profiling their arrestees, the governor pointed out that there were white girls as well.
“There are a whole lot of white girls, too, a whole lot of white girls,” the governor said. “In fact, in almost every single picture is a white Maine girls in the picture.”
The American Civil Liberties Union chapter in Maine blasted LePage’s comments in a statement: “White people are statistically more likely to sell drugs than black people, yet according to the governor, police in Maine are 9 times more likely to arrest black people for doing so. We don’t know what’s behind this disparity, but we look forward to working with the governor to end any unconstitutional racial profiling that may be occurring.”