Lawmakers plan to find compromise on anti-profiling bill

Lawmakers plan to find compromise on anti-profiling bill
File photo.

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Thursday night a bill aimed to combat racial profiling failed to pass a procedural vote, sparking a Democratic filibuster.

Some Democrats promised to keep the filibuster going next week if the anti-racial profiling bill did not come back up. House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said he would meet with the bill sponsors next Tuesday in an attempt to find a solution.

Next week will likely be the last for this year's session, with lawmakers expressing they would like to finish up Wednesday night.

"This was a step for us in Alabama to gather that data on who is being stopped, for what reason and why? Maybe there is no racial profiling in Alabama but we don't know." said Rep. Merika Coleman, D-Birmingham.

The current legislation would require lawmakers to record the race of the person during a traffic stop, why they were stopped and the end result of the encounter. The data would then be able to be analyzed to see if there were any racial profiling "bad apples" in law enforcement.

"I think there needs to be other things added into the data to see if there is a bad officer out there" House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said.

The speaker voted against the bill. He expressed concern that the data could skew against someone like a white police officer, who works in a predominantly black area. McCutcheon said the data should also include internal affairs complaints.

Coleman said the bill is not dead yet and wants to see it passed next week. She said lawmakers should have empathy, especially when it comes to racial profiling.

"We vote on bills all the time that help your constituencies. We are asking you to do the same for us." Coleman said.

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