NASHVILLE –The Tennessee Senate gave final approval on Monday to legislation sponsored by Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown), requiring Tennessee law enforcement agencies to implement policies against racial profiling. The “Racial Profiling Prevention Act” 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.
“Racial profiling has no place in law enforcement in our state,” stated Kelsey. “This bill will protect officers by providing them clear guidelines for appropriate action. That will make us all safer.”
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, or other disparate treatment of an individual solely on the basis of the individual’s actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, or national origin. The bill would apply to any law enforcement agency responsible for preventing and detecting crime and enforcing laws or local ordinances if their employees are authorized to make arrests for crimes. It would also apply to officers employed by colleges and universities.
The legislation is still pending action in the House of Representatives.