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20 states still haven't outlawed racial profiling. Has yours?

As the issues of racial profiling and implicit bias receive more attention following killing of Michael Brown and the  the protests in Ferguson, Missouri that followed, a new report from the NAACP highlights a major gap in US laws: 20 states don't explicitly prohibit police from racial profiling.

states racial profiling bans

There seems to be little correlation between partisan affiliation and the bans. Conservative strongholds like Texas and Alabama have laws against racial profiling, while liberal states like Vermont and New York (where the New York City Police Department is famous for disproportionately targeting black and Latino residents) do not.

Even the states that ban racial profiling have some variations within their laws. For example, among the 30 states that prohibit racial profiling, the NAACP found 17 criminalize such violations and just three states — Kansas, Rhode Island, and Tennessee — allow individuals to seek a court order to stop officers and police departments from racial profiling.

The report calls on states to adopt stringent anti-profiling laws and programs, including provisions for data collection and monitoring of police activities, more funding for police training on profiling, and more sanctions and remedies for violations. But as it stands, "No states meet all of the NAACP criteria of an effective racial profiling law."

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