On Monday, Feb. 4th, on the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and Rosa Parks’ 100th birthday, Rhode Island communities call for passage of Rhode Island’s 2013 Comprehensive Racial Profiling Prevention Act. The press conference, with the theme “Making the Dream a Reality,” will honor the strides we have made in civil rights, and the progress we still need to make to make King’s dream a reality. We will call attention to the issue of racial profiling and racial disparities in traffic stops and searches that continue today in Rhode Island and across the country. Community organizations including Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM) and the Olneyville Neighborhood Association (ONA) have been working in the Coalition to Stop Racial Profiling for years to build an amazing youth-led movement in Rhode Island. This legislation would go a long way to protect residents, and especially youth, from unfounded, biased stops and searches.
Hear from Rhode Islanders about the issues:
Chanravy Tells Her Story
Jimbo Tells His Story
The petition explains:
“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.”
Key provisions of the 2013 Comprehensive Racial Profiling Prevention Act:
- Requires police officers to document in writing their "probable cause" or "reasonable suspicion" grounds for conducting a search. Also, provides that the documentation will become 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" of juveniles.
RI bill would strengthen racial profiling laws - Associated Press
Listen to the press conference recording
Follow #EndRP for updates from @RightsWorking and the Racial Profiling: Face the Truth campaign on Twitter.