Senate approves bill that would require collection of race data in traffic stops

Published 6:03 am Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The Alabama Senate on Tuesday approved legislation to require police agencies to record racial data during traffic stops.

Senators approved the legislation on a 19-7 vote. It moves to the Alabama House. State Sen. Rodger Smitherman of Birmingham said his bill is intended to prevent the targeting of motorists based on their race or ethnicity.

The bill would require law enforcement agencies to adopt written policies to prohibit racial profiling. It would also require law enforcement agencies to record the race of motorists involved in traffic stops and whether the motorist received a ticket or a warning.

Police agencies would submit the data to the attorney general who could order training if he, or she, thinks the data indicates a problem.

Smitherman, who is Black, has described his own experiences being stopped by police during past debates on the bill.