New Law Will Change Police Profiling

In the wake of recent protests and violence across the nation pertaining to police violence, California is poised to pass a bill that would fight racial profiling. AB 953: The Racial and Identity Profiling Act of 2015, will collect basic information on every police stop in order to combat profiling.

The state senate approved the bill last week and will soon be on the Governor’s desk for an official signature. Assemblymember Shirley Weber introduced the bill, saying, “Recent incidents have forced us to confront some ugly truths about the persistence of racial bias in law enforcement. One of our best defenses is information about who is stopped by police and why. Currently, information on these incidents isn’t provided publicly in a comprehensive way. The goal of AB 953 is to rectify this so we can make policies with the best information possible.”

Independent studies report that black men who are unarmed are seven times more likely to die at the hands of police than unarmed white men. California has the highest number of such deaths, at 129 people. Currently, the state has no system in place of recording who police stop, search, shoot and why.

If the governor signs the bill, it will:

Include demographic characteristics regarding any stop in the state by a law enforcement officer. Each agency will be required to collect such data in the communities that they serve.

Establish an advisory board. The board will be required to analyze data and make recommendations to address any problems discovered.

It is thought that if the governor signs the bill into law, the new law would serve as an example to the rest of the nation. Fair policing is not just an issue in California, and proponents want to see sweeping changes. The law would pertain not only to arrest, but to pedestrian and traffic stops as well. We will see, in a very short time, what effect the new law will have on police and their interactions with private citizens.

If you have been arrested for a crime, you need a competent attorney by your side. Call our offices today for a free initial consultation. Our team of criminal defense lawyers has the experience necessary to assist you as you move through the legal process. Reach out to us today.

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