Maine Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck and Attorney General Aaron Frey will answer questions from lawmakers on Wednesday about a secretive state police unit at the center of a high-profile lawsuit and data collection on racial profiling.

You can watch the hearing here.

The hearing of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety committee is among the most anticipated of the Legislature’s slate of hearings during the coronavirus pandemic after Maine State Police Trooper George Loder filed a lawsuit alleging the state police illegally gathered and handled personal data about Mainers. The agency has denied wrongdoing.

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Maine State Police illegally collecting data on residents, lawsuit claims

George Loder claims he was demoted after he told supervisors the center was engaging in unlawful activity to collect, transmit, manage and retain data on Mainers.

It comes after protests across the U.S. and Maine against police brutality and racism after the killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, and other Black people at the hands of police. Maine cities, including Portland and South Portland, are reviewing police procedures and the state’s police regulator instituted stricter rules on chokeholds.

Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after covering state, federal and local issues for the Kennebec Journal for three years. He's a Hallowell native who now lives in Gardiner. He graduated...