Racial Profiling Bill a Step Closer to Final Vote

The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill that would require police to collect data on traffic stops to prevent racial profiling.

The bill by state Sen. Rodger Smitherman, a Democrat from Birmingham, would require officers to record the race of a person pulled over in a traffic stop. Police would submit data annually to the state attorney general’s office.

Smitherman, who is black, shared his experience about being stopped five times without reason while driving luxury cars as evidence for why the bill is needed.

Republican members expressed concern about burdening police with record-keeping. Smitherman said officers already record citations but should also have to document stops.

The bill passed Wednesday with a voice vote with a few dissenting votes. It moves to the House for a final vote.

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