Racial Profiling Bill Draws Praise from Activists, Criticism from Police

Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times, October 3, 2015

The decision by Gov. Jerry Brown to approve a new data collection requirement to identify and eliminate racial profiling was hailed by civil rights activists Saturday, but law enforcement officials questioned the value of such reporting.

The bill requires agencies to collect data on every stop of a civilian, including their perceived ethnicity, the reason for the stop and the outcome (whether an arrest is made).

A report by the American Civil Liberties Union said California holds the record for the highest number of deaths at the hands of law enforcement in the country, with 149 people killed in the state this year.

The photographs of many of those killed have been on display outside the governor’s Capitol office, where demonstrators had been holding a vigil and urging the governor to sign the bill.

Those attending the vigil included the Rev. Ben McBride, director of Regional Clergy Development with the civil rights group PICO California.

“As people of faith, we were compelled to pray for Governor Brown’s moral courage to sign AB 953 and take a step to end the suffering of black, brown, and indigenous communities that are traumatized by racial profiling and overly aggressive policing practices,” McBride said Saturday. “This precedent setting legislation is historic–it is both a moral and legal victory for our state and our nation.”

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