Police brutality has been an issue for years now that has attracted a great deal of attention as of recently. The spotlight has been put on it more as media sources continue to capture various acts of misconduct, allowing the rest of the world to see. Data has revealed that bias exists within some law enforcement officers which has led to many unarmed black individuals being shot and killed by them. Racial profiling is also used by many of these officers of the law to determine who they want to stop and how they plan to handle the matter. Because police interaction with individuals, particularly blacks, has led to unjustified killings, the state of Iowa is working to combat racial profiling.
The American Civil Liberties Union is partnering with other organizations to push forward a new bill that is intended to address racial profiling. The bill will teach officers how to handle an encounter with a civilian or potential suspect in the manner that it should be and not base their questioning or behavior on the race that person is. Some of the things the ACLU would like to see this bill do include:
- Bans against racial profiling by law enforcement.
- Law enforcement officers required to collect data on pedestrian and vehicular stops which include perceived race and ethnicity of the person who is stopped and to report the aggregate data.
- Law enforcement having to complete an anti-racial profiling training as well as training on data collection and reporting.
- Allow a person who is subjected to profiling to file suit in court or file a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.
While it has been debated upon that racial profiling is linked to police brutality, data supports that a link does in fact exist. In a study conducted by a University of California professor, it was revealed that “evidence of a significant bias in the killing of unarmed black Americans relative to unarmed white Americans, in that the probability of being black, unarmed, and shot by police is about 3.49 times the probability of being white, unarmed, and shot by police on average.”
Other data collected for an independent analysis of Washington Post data highlighted that “the only thing that was significant in predicting whether someone shot and killed by police was unarmed was whether or not they were black” [Source: Vanity Fair]. Hopefully, this new bill will help reform how police engage with individuals and instruct them on how to refrain from using racial profiling as a reason to apply force or make assumptions about the intentions of one particular race.
If you are the victim of police brutality and you live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, PLC is available to work with you on developing your case and getting you the justice you deserve. The Iowa police brutality lawyers at this firm are hard-working and dedicated to obtaining a favorable outcome for the clients they represent.