Think there’s racial profiling in Rhode Island? The study certainly seems to suggest as much, and a number of state legislators and the RI-based Coalition to Stop Racial Profiling have teamed up to do something about it.
The legislators, led by Grace Diaz, D-Prov, introduced a bill into the House called the Comprehensive Racial Profiling Prevention Act. The bill, according to a fact sheet put together by the ACLU, would:
- Requires police officers to document in writing their “probable cause” or “reasonable suspicion” grounds for conducting a search. Also provides that the documentation will be public record, with few exceptions.
- Bars police from asking drivers for further documentation of identification beyond a driver’s license, vehicle registration, and/or proof of insurance during a routine traffic stop in the absence of reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
- Bars police officers from asking motor vehicle passengers for identification in the absence of reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
- Requires police officers to document in writing the investigatory basis for a stop if a violation of traffic laws is used to stop a motor vehicle for non-related investigatory reasons
The Coalition, on the other hand, put together with the help of the Providence Youth Student Movement and Youth in Action this short documentary called “Fitting the Description.” Check it out: