Lawmakers share stories during racial profiling bill debate

African-American lawmakers shared stories of being stopped by police as they urged passage of a bill that would require police agencies to collect data on race and traffic stops.

Posted: Mar. 7, 2018 3:49 PM
Updated: Mar. 7, 2018 3:49 PM

MONTGMERY, Ala. (AP) — African-American lawmakers shared stories of being stopped by police as they urged passage of a bill that would require police agencies to collect data on race and traffic stops.

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State Sen. Rodger Smitherman of Birmingham on Wednesday told the House Judiciary Committee that racial profiling is real. He described being stopped by police while driving one of his luxury vehicles in predominantly white neighborhoods when he was sure he had not committed a traffic offense.

Police agencies would submit data annually to the state attorney general's office.

The committee held a public hearing on Smitherman's bill which was unanimously approved by the Senate. The committee intends to vote next week.

Bobby Timmons of the Alabama Sheriffs' Association said it would create additional paperwork that departments don't have personnel to do.

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