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Tuesday, January 26, 2010 - 10:09am

Bills Aim to Stop Racial Profiling

The so-called "anti-racial profiling bills" are being pushed by Democrats in the state House and Senate.

They ban local and state police from pulling people over based on their race.

Representative Tyrone Brooks is sponsoring the house bill. He says, "What’s happening on the streets right now is people are being stopped simply because of the way they look. They may be stopped because they’re black, because they’re hispanic…"

Brooks says the bill would require officers document the ethnicity, gender and age of any person subject to a routine traffic stop.

Police advocates have opposed similar bills in the past, saying it creates too much paper work. But the bill's co-sponsor Pedro Marin says it will create accountability and expose the problem.

"People that oppose this oppose it because the numbers will be probably staggering when we start collecting this," says Marin, "so it will be opening a Pandora box."

Civil rights advocates support the legislation, saying half of the United States have laws addressing racial profiling by police officers.

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