@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Racial profiling ban filed in NC House

Posted March 10, 2015

Rep. Rodney Moore, D-Mecklenburg

— North Carolina House Democrats have filed a proposal for a state ban on racial profiling by law enforcement agencies.

Racial profiling is already illegal under federal law as a violation of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. The bill would add to state law a prohibition against "investigation, detention, or arrest based on the person's real or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity, rather than on the person's behavior or on information identifying the person as having engaged in criminal activity."

House Bill 193 would also give "citizen review boards" wide-ranging investigative powers to handle complaints of racial profiling and would have the power to discipline or even fire officers found to have engaged in the practice.

The proposal also requires law enforcement agencies to compile demographic data on murder investigations, traffic stops and use of deadly force by officers and to make that information publicly available. And it calls for additional training for law enforcement officers and neighborhood watch participants.

"There have been instances across the nation where there's been some questionable actions as regards to police and homicides of men of color," said sponsor Rep. Rodney Moore, D-Mecklenburg. "This is a great first step in having a conversation about how our law enforcement agencies interact with our communities of color and with communities as a whole."

Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield, D-Wilson, said many of her constituents have told her they support a citizen review panel.

"They wanted fairness. They wanted someone to be kind of a watchdog and oversee [law enforcement officers] and make sure that people are treated equally," Farmer-Butterfield said.

The bill is one of the top priorities of the Legislative Black Caucus, said caucus leader Rep. Garland Pierce, D-Scotland.

Pierce credited some law enforcement officers with improved sensitivity to unconscious racial profiling but said North Carolina is "not there yet."

"Too many young men end up in the court system because of what they look like," Pierce said.

Raleigh Police Protective Association spokesman Brian Lewis said much of the bill simply codifies current standard practices for training, ethics and community responsiveness. But other parts, such as the citizen review panels, "need more discussion and thought."

"In Raleigh, we have an internal affairs unit that investigates alleged misconduct or criminal conduct against any member of the Raleigh Police Department. This unit ensures all allegations against officers are investigated thoroughly, objectively and with an understanding of professional police work," Lewis said.

11 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Roy Hinkley Mar 11, 2015
    user avatar

    @Tom
    It was bound to happen that you would agree with me...since I am always right and you happen to be once in a while ;)

  • Brian Jones Mar 11, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    They are 12.6% of U.S. population, committing 48% of the murders...........................(There are plenty of other crimes, behaviors, other than murder than can be brought up.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States#Race_and_ethnicity

  • Tom Smith Mar 11, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread



    yeah, you just provided the numbers to prove brian jones' point. I did the math as well. non blacks were responsible for just under 52% of all murders in 2013. I haven't checked the census, but if memory serves the U.S. black population is just under 20%. that means half of all murders are being committed by 20% of that culture. that's definitely a topic for discussion. and it doesn't need to be a racist or hate filled discussion. rather it can be a discussion on how to change that fact. why is it happening and what can be done to fix it?

  • Tom Smith Mar 11, 2015
    user avatar

    now to address a civilian review board. they are ridiculous. no different then getting me to review a doctor's decisions or a teachers decisions or a politicians decisions and so forth. law enforcement is a very specialized field. while it doesn't take a rocket scientist to become a cop, it does take some one who has very rigorously been vetted and trained.

  • Tom Smith Mar 11, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread



    ya know roy, for once I agree with you. do you know what racial profiling is? it's a cop too inexperienced or in some cases, dumb to articulate exactly what you just did. now I know for a fact that there are cops out there who just look at the race and then decide to stop the car, but they are very rare since they tend to weed themselves out. that being said, other cops see everything you just said and subconsciously process it but then can't put it in words or down on paper. then it looks like they profiled when in fact they recognized these little clues and that something about what they were seeing was wrong. straight up racial profiling is so rare that its not a true issue. those guys and gals will get caught up and eventually leave law enforcement.

  • Brian Jones Mar 11, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    Using your 2013 FBI table (which is set up to show, primarily, the race of the victims row 2) blacks commit 48.00% of all murders. Calculate using rows 3, 4, 5 exclude 6 unknowns) "Race of offender". Blacks COMMIT 48% OF THE MURDERS.............Now lets dialogue.

  • Robyn Page Mar 11, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    Source for your statistics? Because according to the FBI's website that is incorrect.

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded-homicide/expanded_homicide_data_table_6_murder_race_and_sex_of_vicitm_by_race_and_sex_of_offender_2013.xls

  • Andi Rueny Mar 11, 2015
    user avatar

    "Too many young men end up in the court system because of what they look like," Pierce said.

    NO, it's because of something they did !!! You are not arrested for looking like you had a gun in your waistband or a bag of marijuana in your socks.

  • Roy Hinkley Mar 11, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread



    For what it's worth, your description did not include race, so by definition it couldn't have been racial profiling (even if you did include stereotypical racial overtones).

    Add to that, what you described were behaviors, and behaviors are what matter. Granted, the headgear is pretty irrelevant, and chanting "God is great" isn't the worst example ("death to infidels would have been better"), but the vest in hot weather would warrant a closer look.

  • Jay Tanenbaum Mar 11, 2015
    user avatar

    Richard, I love that joke. I needed a laugh this early in the morning. But then again, let's take things to the extreme.

More...