N.C. Reps. file bill prohibiting discriminatory profiling | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

N.C. Reps. file bill prohibiting discriminatory profiling

Posted by on Tue, Mar 10, 2015 at 2:15 PM

Last month, 20 year old Janisha Fonville was shot and killed by a Charlotte Mecklenburg police officer, because she was wielding a kitchen knife at officers in her apartment. Fonville was black. The officer who shot her is white.

On Tuesday, Rep. Rodney Moore, D-Mecklenburg, filed a bill that prohibits discriminatory practices by law enforcement officials and compels law enforcement agencies to provide cultural diversity training to new hires. The bill, H193, also seeks to capture traffic stop and homicide data, in order to prove or dispel claims of racial bias, and it authorizes the use of municipal citizen review boards to investigate potential incidences of police misconduct.

“This is a great first step in having a conversation about how police and law enforcement agencies interact with our communities of color, and with the community as a whole,” Moore said. “We are striving to come up with ways to rebuild the public’s trust in law enforcement agencies and have open and fair dialogue about the ways we can hold people accountable for misdeeds.”

Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield, D-Pitt, Rep. Cecil Brokcman, D-Guilford, and Rep. Graig Meyer, D-Orange, are co-sponsoring the legislation. Farmer-Butterfield said her constituents asked her to sign onto the bill following a panel discussion with police, faith leaders and a person who had been racially profiled.

“During the discussion, I heard they want fairness and justice, for people to be treated the same and for a watchdog to oversee that people are treated equally,” she said.

Brockman, a young African American himself, said he has personally experienced instances with law enforcement “where I didn’t agree with why I was pulled over.”

“A lot of members of the African American community have had the same experience,” Brockman said. “This bill is a great way to try to fix that.”

Moore said he has had “some conversations” with the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association as well the North State Officers’ Association, and that those groups are in “wait and see mode.” Moore said Republican leadership in the Legislature has been receptive to the bill but members have questioned whether it is needed, since the state and U.S. Constitution already makes racial profiling illegal.

“There are provisions in the law, but are they being enforced..?,” Moore asked. “This bill serves as a template, a guiding document. Once the law is enacted, we can get the judiciary’s view of how to hold people accountable.”

Rep. Garland Pierce, the chair of the North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus, added that the bill isn’t limited to prohibiting discrimination against young men of color, but of all people who are profiled by law enforcement.

“This is a big piece of legislation affecting a lot of people,” Pierce said. “It affects black young men and people from other ethnic groups.”

“This bill is about profiling on the basis of nationality, ethnicity, religious affiliation, sexual identity,” Moore said. “It’s critical for groups of people who have been profiled or discriminated against at some point in time.”

The Rev. Nelson Johnson of Greensboro said he is “grateful” for the bill.

“Profiling is happening all over the US to lesser and greater degrees,” he said. “Don’t wait for more imprisonment, more deaths. This bill is right, it is moral and it is overdue.”
Pin It

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Comments

The Veil of Secrecy Has Been Lifted....
After many decades of secrecy and operation in the shadows, we, the illuminated …

by Excellency Mexico on “With DACA, I Feel Like I Have a Superpower”: After Trump Ends DACA, Triangle Recipients Tell Their Stories (News)

Look Lisa, your grandfather's story is tough. I would suggest however that he is a victim of capitalist oppression, not …

by CPF (CommiePinkoFag) on “Durham’s a Bright Light for Our Movement”: After Their Cases Were Continued Until November, Defend Durham Activists Took a Victory Lap (News)

Most Recent Comments

The Veil of Secrecy Has Been Lifted....
After many decades of secrecy and operation in the shadows, we, the illuminated …

by Excellency Mexico on “With DACA, I Feel Like I Have a Superpower”: After Trump Ends DACA, Triangle Recipients Tell Their Stories (News)

Look Lisa, your grandfather's story is tough. I would suggest however that he is a victim of capitalist oppression, not …

by CPF (CommiePinkoFag) on “Durham’s a Bright Light for Our Movement”: After Their Cases Were Continued Until November, Defend Durham Activists Took a Victory Lap (News)

Apparently we must hope that the N&O doesn't follow through on this trend by deciding that they will cover legislative …

by khoragos on The N&O’s Performing Arts Correspondent Says the Paper Is Cutting Back on Performing Arts Reviews (News)

Cancelling the parade affects all people. I usually went just for the parade, not the night events. Parents take their …

by Aiden on Carolina Jews for Justice Says NC Pride Schedule Fix Isn't Enough (News)

I should also add that it was professor Daniel Sherman who penned the letter that we all signed after some …

by elin o'Hara slavick on UNC Faculty Members Call for the Removal of Silent Sam (News)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation