NASHVILLE – Legislation which requires Tennessee law enforcement agencies to implement policies against racial profiling is on its way to Governor Bill Haslam after approval by the House of Representatives on Monday by a vote of 93-0. The “Racial Profiling Prevention Act,” sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) and Representative John DeBerry (D-Memphis), defines the discriminatory practice and calls for all law enforcement agencies in the state to adopt a written policy on the subject by January 1, 2016.
“I am very pleased that this legislation has passed,” said Sen. Kelsey. “Racial profiling has no place in law enforcement in our state. This bill will also protect officers by providing them clear guidelines for appropriate action. That will make us all safer.”
“The State of Tennessee must take lead in insuring that every citizen is treated fair, and that personal bias will have no place in successful policing,” added Representative DeBerry.
Senate Bill 6 defines racial profiling as the detention or interdiction of an individual in traffic contacts, field contacts, or asset seizure and forfeiture efforts solely on the basis of the individual’s actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, or national origin. The bill would apply to all police departments and sheriff’s departments in Tennessee.
The bill becomes effective upon the governor’s signature.