In an effort to improve the relationship between law enforcement and the Black community, state lawmakers in Oregon recently passed a bill to combat racial profiling by police.
The Statesman Journal reported that the “bill requires law enforcement agencies to collect and submit data on the age, race, ethnicity and sex of a person contacted during a traffic or pedestrian stop.”
The Journal also reported that the bill, which is known as “House Bill 2355,” is “designed to tackle racial profiling by law enforcement and keep drug addicts out of jail.” House Bill 2355 received bipartisan support; Governor Kate Brown is expected to sign the bill into law.
Civil rights activists say that recent events in Portland warrant increased scrutiny on interactions between Blacks and law enforcement officials.
“If you focus only on the outcomes, 42 percent of African-Americans are stopped annually by gang enforcement officers, because of the belief that all African-Americans have to prove they aren’t involved in gang activity in a city with a six percent African-American population,” said Jo Ann Hardesty, the president of the Portland branch of the NAACP.
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