ELIMINATE RACIAL PROFILING ACT
On Thursday State Representative Andre Thapedi, filed HB 4209 which creates the “Eliminate Racial Profiling Act.” This comprehensive legislation extends civil protections to those persons racially profiled by law enforcement in this State.
While Illinois has made meaningful efforts to curtail this practice by enacting the Traffic Stop Statistical Study Act (625 ILCS 5/11-212) and the Racial Profiling Prevention and Data Oversight Act (20 ILCS 2715) – the focus of these laws relates to traffic stops only; and, the Traffic Stop Statistical Study Act is scheduled to be repealed on July 1, 2019.
The Eliminate Racial Profiling Act goes beyond traffic stops currently the subject of Illinois law – to include all law enforcement stops and searches. While Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968) is still good law, racial profiling is stopping and searching someone based primarily on race or religion – rather than being stopped and searched based upon a reasonable suspicion or the observation of the violation of a law.
The purpose of the “Eliminate Racial Profiling Act” is multifold. First, the Bill makes clear that racial profiling by either State or local law enforcement officials is both illegal and actionable in Court. Secondly, the Bill mandates that law enforcement officers and agencies put aside race and religion while doing their important albeit dangerous job of protecting the safety and welfare of lllinoisans. Lastly, the Bill requires law enforcement to document all stops and searches; and, to further develop policies and procedures to eliminate racial profiling in the State of Illinois.
The recent tragic deaths of: 12-year old Tamir Rice in Cleveland; Michael Brown in Ferguson; Eric Garner in Staten Island; John Crawford III in Dayton; and, Freddie Gray in Baltimore are all examples of why this legislation, HB 4209, is necessary.
For further information contact Representative André Thapedi at (773) 873-4444.