Alabama’s public safety director has banned racial profiling by state troopers and added a procedure for reviewing motorists’ complaints, the Associated Press reports. The policy prohibits troopers from stopping motorists based solely on ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, economic status, age or cultural group, and mandates annual training.
Public Safety Director Mike Coppage’s move drew surprise and praise from black legislators who had expressed concerns about racial profiling in the past. Democratic state Sen. Charles Steele, state president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said, “I commend them for bringing this to light.”
Several states have instituted aws or reforms aimed at preventing racial profiling, including New Jersey, Texas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Arkansas and California.
Coppage, a former Birmingham police chief, said he wanted to codify what had previously been an informal policy against biased-based enforcement.