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.

Cases: 296154

Reported Deaths: 6764
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19700230
Hinds18851392
Harrison16736281
Rankin12757265
Jackson12623228
Lee9694161
Madison9480203
Jones7990147
Forrest7234138
Lauderdale6837226
Lowndes6032140
Lamar589680
Lafayette5740113
Washington5220130
Bolivar4616124
Oktibbeha441593
Panola431995
Pearl River4178131
Warren4134115
Pontotoc410571
Marshall403592
Monroe3990127
Union396174
Neshoba3817169
Lincoln3552104
Hancock348975
Leflore3380118
Sunflower318986
Tate303174
Pike301296
Scott294570
Alcorn292263
Yazoo290565
Itawamba290175
Coahoma281169
Tippah279265
Copiah278758
Simpson276280
Prentiss270258
Wayne254341
Leake252871
Marion252778
Covington249580
Grenada247878
Adams234678
George232145
Newton230852
Winston221877
Jasper213645
Tishomingo212665
Attala206669
Chickasaw201453
Holmes182370
Clay179251
Stone172429
Tallahatchie171239
Clarke169371
Calhoun158028
Smith153033
Yalobusha145036
Greene127833
Walthall124340
Noxubee122831
Montgomery122639
Perry122135
Lawrence120321
Carroll118625
Amite111734
Webster110832
Jefferson Davis102231
Tunica99323
Claiborne98829
Benton93824
Humphreys92927
Kemper90323
Quitman77414
Franklin76119
Choctaw69817
Jefferson62727
Wilkinson62426
Sharkey49117
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 497154

Reported Deaths: 10029
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson714001387
Mobile36252736
Madison32573462
Tuscaloosa24289414
Montgomery22708519
Shelby22112215
Baldwin19856285
Lee15021155
Calhoun13755288
Morgan13742252
Etowah13379320
Marshall11439210
Houston10110262
Elmore9451185
Limestone9413136
St. Clair9003225
Cullman8979182
Lauderdale8610212
DeKalb8486175
Talladega7582165
Walker6571259
Jackson6542103
Autauga631391
Blount6229127
Colbert5998120
Coffee5259103
Dale4657107
Russell406433
Franklin399778
Covington3989106
Chilton3891100
Escambia378772
Tallapoosa3613143
Clarke343953
Chambers3423111
Dallas3419142
Pike293372
Marion288895
Lawrence284683
Winston258668
Bibb245960
Geneva240270
Marengo238357
Pickens225055
Barbour212951
Hale211969
Fayette201357
Butler201166
Henry182941
Cherokee177739
Monroe166639
Randolph164640
Washington156635
Macon147243
Crenshaw146254
Clay145554
Cleburne139741
Lamar133733
Lowndes132551
Wilcox122525
Bullock117236
Conecuh107024
Perry105927
Sumter99432
Coosa89624
Greene88532
Choctaw55123
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