What do you think of the new guidelines that ban profiling?

The Obama administration has released new guidelines for federal law enforcement and  profiling Monday, AP reports.

The policy bans profiling based on religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity. New training and data collection will also be required under the new policy.

The guidelines have been in the making for the past five years, but have been released when there is has been large amount of national attention.

“Particularly in light of certain recent incidents we’ve seen at the local level — and the widespread concerns about trust in the criminal justice process which so many have raised throughout the nation — it’s imperative that we take every possible action to institute strong and sound policing practices,” said Attorney General Eric Holder, referring to the August shooting by a white police officer of an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, and the chokehold death weeks earlier of a man in New York City.

The American Civil Liberties Union does not approve that security screenings at airports, border checks and local and state police agencies are exempt from this policy.

“It’s so loosely drafted that its exceptions risk swallowing any rule and permit some of the worst law enforcement policies and practices that have victimized and alienated American Muslim and other minority communities,” said Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office. “This guidance is not an adequate response to the crisis of racial profiling in America.”

Today’s Question: What do you think of the new guidelines that ban profiling?

  • Sue de Nim

    Rules can change behavior. Changing attitudes is harder. Until law enforcement and security personnel stop being more suspicious of people of color than they are of white folks, racial profiling will continue to happen, regardless of any guidelines.

  • Jim G

    I’m profiled everyday. I pass police cars daily and never merit a second glance from officers. Living in a southwestern suburb, I appropriately fit the profile of my chosen neighbors. I am a white haired male. I wear a baseball hat and drive a newer pick-up truck with a U of M Alumni sticker on the back window,

    However, I wasn’t always such a “dapper Dan”. The first time I was pulled over by police was a long time ago. I was a 17 year-old kid driving an old smashed-up Volkswagen. when a police car with two officers, pulled over my friend and me. We were asked to exit the car an put our hands on the vehicle. We complied. They searched my vehicle. My friend, now a Lutheran Pastor, and myself, a retired teacher were asked to empty our pockets. Eventually after a through search of the vehicle and finding nothing we were told we could go on our way. No reason was given by the officers for that long ago stop and search. Luckily, we had not challenged their reason for stopping us or given them any smart talk.

    Why did they stop me and my friend? It has always bothered me. I was then… as I am today a law abiding citizen. This was my first introduction to law enforcement and I had been treated like a criminal, not as a citizen deserving respect. They must have decided to pull us over because our profile matched other young teenagers with longish hair looking for…something… maybe trouble.

    Since then, I’ve mostly steered clear of police encounters. As years passed I have found that as I aged, I seemed to move out of the target zone for police. However, recent events have now convinced me that colored skinned men don’t ever seem to age out of the risk target zone for law enforcement. This new policy is a start, but only a start, and this country has to get about reforming many other policies that treat black lives differently.