Europe

French top court to rule on racial profiling for first time

FILE - In this Feb. 25 2015 file photo, French plaintiffs Amponsah, left, and Elize Novembre stand with Lanna Hollo, senior legal officer with Open Society Justice Initiative, and talk to the media at Paris appeals court, in Paris. A lawyer who claims French police carried out unjustified identity checks on 13 black and Arab men based only on their racial profiles has brought the cases before the highest French court for the first time. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

FILE - In this Feb. 25 2015 file photo, French plaintiffs Amponsah, left, and Elize Novembre stand with Lanna Hollo, senior legal officer with Open Society Justice Initiative, and talk to the media at Paris appeals court, in Paris. A lawyer who claims French police carried out unjustified identity checks on 13 black and Arab men based only on their racial profiles has brought the cases before the highest French court for the first time. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)  (The Associated Press)

A lawyer who claims French police carried out unjustified identity checks on 13 black and Arab men based only on their racial profiles has brought the cases before the highest French court for the first time.

Lawyer Thomas Lyon-Caen told the Cour de Cassation Tuesday the ID checks violated the basic rights of his clients and were discriminatory because a democratic state cannot "link delinquency to skin color."

Lyon-Caen said the top court's ruling, expected on Nov. 9, "will make history."

A lower court found police overstepped their authority in the cases of five men but not for eight others. The prosecutor asked the supreme court's judges to declare all 13 cases illegal. Activist groups hope the decision will end what they call routine discrimination by police against minorities.