Des Moines council steps toward banning racial profiling
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Des Moines City Council plans to work on defining racial profiling and collecting data before enacting an ordinance banning it.
On Monday the council backed a proposed ordinance that would make racial profiling an “illegal discriminatory municipal practice” that could lead to a city employee being fired. It would back up the Des Moines Police Department’s anti-discrimination policy.
An ACLU official was among the speakers Monday who urged the council to consider amendments to the proposal.
“We look forward to continuing to work to make the ordinance and resolutions meaningful and real so that at the end of the day, constitutional rights are indeed for every single one of us,” said Daniel Zeno, policy and advocacy director for the ACLU of Iowa.
Some of the dozens of people who filled the council chamber held signs that read “Skin color is not a crime” and “Stop the stops.” The latter referred to pretextual stops in which officers stop someone for one reason but use it as cause to investigate something unrelated.
The initial passage of the ordinance comes months after the city settled lawsuits with three black men who said Des Moines police officers racially profiled them.