Lawmakers share stories during racial profiling bill debate

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

Posted: Mar 7, 2018 6:47 PM

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

The House Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on the bill by state Sen. Rodger Smitherman, a Democrat from Birmingham. The bill, which was approved by the Senate in January, would require the officer to record the race of a person pulled over in a traffic stop. Police agencies would submit data annually to the state attorney general's office.

"In the world I live in it's: DWB— Driving While Black," Smitherman said. 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. He said in one instance he was riding with his wife, who is a circuit judge.

Rep. Merika Coleman, a Democrat from Pleasant Grove, said "every person of color in this room" knows what it is like to stopped for "absolutely no reason but for the color of our skin."

"I wish every last one of you could walk a mile in our shoes," she said. "There is a conversation that we have with our children, that some of you don't have to have with your children."

Coleman had unsuccessfully pushed to require the state to collect racial information on police shootings.

Coleman said she would not let her 17-year-old son drive until he had a Fraternal Order of Police tag on his car so "somebody could know that he had a police officer in his family."

The bill drew opposition from some law enforcement representatives who said departments have policies against racial profiling and the bill would require additional paperwork.

"This bill adds a whole lot of paperwork that we don't have the personnel to do," said Bobby Timmons of the Alabama Sheriffs' Association.

The committee is expected to vote next week.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 68293

Reported Deaths: 1944
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5700119
DeSoto371031
Harrison260136
Madison245569
Jackson231444
Rankin230735
Jones193159
Forrest182656
Washington170142
Lee152142
Lauderdale141592
Neshoba128892
Lamar123115
Bolivar113635
Oktibbeha113339
Warren112535
Lowndes109239
Panola106816
Sunflower105625
Scott101120
Lafayette98719
Copiah96228
Leflore94966
Pike94037
Holmes91049
Grenada85123
Pontotoc8429
Yazoo84113
Lincoln83442
Monroe82155
Simpson80631
Leake79526
Coahoma78113
Wayne78021
Tate74330
Marshall7129
Marion68420
Union66216
Adams63225
Winston62916
Covington62214
George5956
Pearl River55940
Newton54511
Tallahatchie54111
Attala52725
Walthall50221
Chickasaw47619
Noxubee46112
Tishomingo4377
Alcorn4355
Calhoun4259
Prentiss42310
Claiborne40914
Smith40613
Hancock40214
Clay40114
Jasper3949
Itawamba38710
Tippah37414
Tunica3587
Clarke33626
Montgomery3295
Lawrence3238
Yalobusha31610
Humphreys29712
Quitman2691
Carroll26111
Greene25612
Perry2428
Amite2376
Webster23712
Kemper23314
Jefferson Davis2336
Wilkinson21513
Stone2115
Sharkey2045
Jefferson1957
Benton1451
Choctaw1354
Franklin1312
Issaquena272
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 99926

Reported Deaths: 1781
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13366246
Mobile10581212
Montgomery6825151
Madison546934
Tuscaloosa426979
Unassigned392566
Baldwin367029
Shelby333437
Marshall319438
Lee270847
Morgan241819
Etowah218034
DeKalb183414
Calhoun181918
Elmore176039
Walker154465
Houston142813
Russell13892
St. Clair136320
Limestone135913
Dallas133624
Franklin129722
Cullman123012
Colbert121517
Lauderdale119020
Autauga116222
Escambia108817
Talladega105414
Jackson10264
Tallapoosa87579
Chambers84738
Dale84329
Clarke82610
Chilton8189
Blount8165
Butler77036
Coffee7656
Covington74021
Pike7137
Marion58226
Barbour5796
Lowndes57124
Marengo56616
Hale48526
Bullock48111
Winston45711
Perry4454
Bibb4445
Washington44412
Wilcox43410
Monroe4236
Pickens4089
Randolph40211
Conecuh39310
Sumter36618
Lawrence3542
Macon33914
Crenshaw3326
Choctaw28912
Cherokee2768
Clay2675
Geneva2652
Henry2643
Greene25211
Lamar2302
Fayette2235
Cleburne1291
Coosa1053
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Scattered Clouds
83° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 89°
Columbus
Few Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 87°
Oxford
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 78°
Starkville
Scattered Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 82°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather