Archive for Thursday, February 24, 2005

Senate approves bill to fight racial profiling

February 24, 2005


— A bill attacking racial profiling received Senate approval Wednesday.

The measure declares it illegal for law enforcement officers to profile suspects based only on their race, ethnicity, nationality, gender or religious dress.

The bill would permit people who believe they've been profiled to file a complaint with the law enforcement agency or with the attorney general's office. Agencies could face lawsuits or become ineligible for state grants if officers engage in profiling.

The Senate's 39-0 vote sent the measure to the House.

Originally, the bill made racial profiling a misdemeanor, subjecting offers to jail time and fines. However, law enforcement groups objected, and legislators rewrote the measure in committee as a compromise.

Sen. Donald Betts, D-Wichita, called the revised measure a first step toward ending racial profiling.

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