Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver joined today with Assistant Speaker Rhoda Jacobs (D-Flatbush) and Assemblymember Joseph Lentol to announce the passage of legislation that would prohibit law enforcement officers from using racial and ethnic profiling as a pretext for determining that an individual should be suspected of criminal activity.
The actions we have taken via this legislation seek to restore trust between law enforcement and minority communities and to help ensure that police only stop and question people based on a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity and not on the perceived race or ethnic status of the individual, said Assemblywoman Jacobs.
The bill (A.2288) includes provisions that would prohibit police officers from using racial and ethnic profiling during the performance of their duties by:
- requiring law enforcement agencies to adopt written policies prohibiting racial profiling and develop procedures to review and take corrective action with respect to individual complaints;
- requiring law enforcement to collect data such as race, ethnicity and gender when conducting a traffic stop or a stop that results in a pat-down, frisk and/or search; and
- expanding current law by giving individuals or the Attorney General the right to bring legal action against a law enforcement agency for injunctive relief and/or damages specifically for acts of racial profiling.