Maryland State Police must turn over internal records about how authorities investigate complaints of racial profiling, the state's top court has ruled.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland and the Maryland State Conference of the NAACP have maintained that the state police have violated Maryland open records law by improperly withholding documents that would show whether the agency has meaningfully investigated racial profiling complaints against its troopers.

"It sets a strong precedent and gives us the ability to determine if and when reports and complaints of racial profiling are thoroughly investigated and handled appropriately," said Gerald Stansbury, head of the Maryland NAACP.

Lawyers for the state argued state police have been forthcoming with the civil rights organizations, but that what the NAACP wants is accessing private personnel records.

The Maryland Court of Appeals rejected that argument in a decision released Thursday.