(en español abajo)
We are asking for people's signatures to tell our legislators that we need to pass the 2013 Comprehensive Racial Profiling Prevention Act that will make racial profiling practices illegal in Rhode Island. Sign this petition and join us as we say that our community will not stand for racial profiling any longer.
Some of the provisions in the bill:
- 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 officers from asking motor vehicle passengers for identification in the absence of reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
- Restricts the use of so-called "consent searches" on juveniles. A consent search is a search in which the individual has given their consent.
Nosotros estamos buscando firmas en nuestra petición para que nuestros legisladores pasen la Ley contra Perfil Racial, prohibiendo ciertas prácticas de la discriminación policial en Rhode island. Firme esta petición y únese con nosotros en decir que nuestra comunidad no aguantará más discriminación policial.
Algunas partes del proyecto de ley:
- Require que los oficiales de la policía documentan por escrito su "prueba suficiente" y "sospecha fundada" para cachear una persona. También, asegura que la documentación será en el record público, con pocas excepciones.
- Previene que oficiales de la policía piden identificación de los pasajeros de un vehículo sin "sospecha fundada" de actividad criminal.
- Limita el uso de los supuestos "cateos con consentimiento" de menores.
Despite the voluntary measures taken by some officers to combat racial profiling, traffic stops data continue to show that minority drivers in Rhode Island are being pulled over at twice the rate of white drivers, and traffic stops data continue to show that they are twice as likely again to be searched. This goes on despite statistics that show that, overall, white drivers are more likely to be carrying contraband. There appears to be nothing to explain this discrepancy except for skin color. As Rhode Islanders, we cannot allow this to continue.
Every time a minority driver is stopped, searched and then released after no contraband is found, it is not just a waste of our police officers' valuable time and resources; It is a waste of our own hard-earned tax dollars. This is a major problem in a state where 3 out of every 4 searches turn up nothing. It is clear that we need a true mandate to pass the legislature in order to promote good community relations that are critical for strong law enforcement. We need to eliminate questionable policies and practices that encourage inaccurate stereotypes about the prevalence of crime by racial minorities, and reduce nonproductive police searches that waste limited police resources .
The Comprehensive Racial Profiling Prevention Act of 2013 is exactly the legislation that we need. It would enact a variety of protections designed to minimize invalid stops and searches and increase officer accountability at a minimal cost to our police departments. The main provision is that police officers would be required to document the cause of their stops and searches. This helps to ensure that no driver, regardless of race, is subjected to any search without probable cause or reasonable suspicion.
In departments where this measure was taken up voluntarily, such as Narragansett, the racial disparity in their searches dropped to nearly zero. This is legislation that is simple and has been proven to work.
By signing, I pledge my support to the Comprehensive Racial Profiling Prevention Act of 2013 and thank you for your support for this critical legislation.