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RHODE ISLAND

Gen.Laws 1956, § 31-21.1-2   WEST'S GENERAL LAWS OF RHODE ISLAND ANNOTATED   TITLE 31. MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES   CHAPTER 21.1. TRAFFIC STOPS STATISTICS   § 31-21.1-2. Declaration and policy


The general assembly declares that the use of racial profiling for stopping or searching motorists on our public highways is against public policy and violates the civil rights of the motorist. For purposes of this chapter, "racial profiling" means the detention, interdiction or other disparate treatment of an individual on the basis, in whole or in part, of the racial or ethnic status of such individual, except when such status is used in combination with other identifying factors in seeking to apprehend a specific suspect whose racial or ethnic status is part of the description of the suspect. The purpose of this chapter is to conduct a study of the traffic stops by the police to determine whether racial profiling is occurring and to require that police prohibit the practice of racial profiling.

Gen.Laws 1956, § 31-21.2-2   WEST'S GENERAL LAWS OF RHODE ISLAND ANNOTATED   TITLE 31. MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES   CHAPTER 21.2. RACIAL PROFILING PREVENTION ACT OF 2004   § 31-21.2-2. Findings


(a) Municipal and state law enforcement officers play a vital role in protecting the public from crime. The vast majority of police officers discharge their duties professionally and without bias.

(b) The use by police officers of race, ethnicity, or national origin solely in deciding which persons should be subject to traffic stops, searches and seizures is improper.

(c) In many communities nonwhite drivers in Rhode Island, subjected to discretionary searches, are twice as likely as whites to be searched.

(d) In some instances, law enforcement practices may have the unintended effect of promoting racially disparate stops and searches.

(e) Racial profiling harms individuals subjected to it because they experience fear, anxiety, humiliation, anger, resentment and cynicism when they are unjustifiably treated as criminal suspects.

(f) Racial profiling damages law enforcement and the criminal justice system as a whole by undermining public confidence and trust in the police, the courts, and criminal law, and thereby undermining law enforcement efforts and ability to solve and reduce crime.

(g) A comprehensive solution is needed to address racial profiling at the state and local levels.

Gen.Laws 1956, § 31-21.2-1   WEST'S GENERAL LAWS OF RHODE ISLAND ANNOTATED   TITLE 31. MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES   CHAPTER 21.2. RACIAL PROFILING PREVENTION ACT OF 2004   § 31-21.2-1. Title


Title 31. Motor and Other Vehicles
 Chapter 21.2. Racial Profiling Prevention Act of 2004
§ 31-21.2-1. Title

This chapter may be cited as "Racial Profiling Prevention Act of 2004."

Gen.Laws 1956, § 31-21.2-8   WEST'S GENERAL LAWS OF RHODE ISLAND ANNOTATED   TITLE 31. MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES   CHAPTER 21.2. RACIAL PROFILING PREVENTION ACT OF 2004   § 31-21.2-8. Complaint procedures


(a) Each state and municipal law enforcement agency shall establish a procedure to investigate complaints of police misconduct by members of the public against personnel of these agencies, and shall make a written description of the procedure available to the public. Copies of any departmental complaint forms shall be available in at least one governmental location other than the police department. The procedure and forms shall also be made available on any website of a law enforcement agency.

(b) At a minimum, complaints shall be accepted in person by mail or by facsimile.

(c) Information on the complaints received by each law enforcement agency shall be submitted on an annual basis under uniform criteria established by the Select Commission on Race and Police-Community Relations. The information provided by each department shall include the total number of complaints received, a breakdown by category of the type of complaint and a further breakdown by category of the disposition of the complaints.
Gen.Laws 1956, § 31-21.2-5   WEST'S GENERAL LAWS OF RHODE ISLAND ANNOTATED   TITLE 31. MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES   CHAPTER 21.2. RACIAL PROFILING PREVENTION ACT OF 2004   § 31-21.2-5. Law enforcement practices


(a) Unless there exists reasonable suspicion or probable cause of criminal activity, no motor vehicle stopped for a traffic violation shall be detained beyond the time needed to address the violation. Nothing contained herein shall prohibit the detention of a motor vehicle for a reasonable period of time for the arrival of a canine unit or subsequent criminal investigation, if there is reasonable suspicion or probable cause of criminal activity.

(b) No operator or owner-passenger of a motor vehicle shall be requested to consent to a search by a law enforcement officer of his or her motor vehicle which is stopped solely for a traffic violation, unless there exists reasonable suspicion or probable cause of criminal activity.

(c) Any evidence obtained as a result of a search prohibited by subsection (a) or (b) shall be inadmissible in any judicial proceeding. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to preclude any search otherwise based upon any legally sufficient cause.

(d) Law enforcement agencies using video and/or audio surveillance cameras in their vehicles shall adopt written policies and procedures regarding the use of such cameras, which shall be public records.

(e) The policies and procedures established by this section shall be added to, and prominently placed in, all relevant departmental policy and training manuals. Other appropriate training about the requirements of this chapter shall also be provided to all officers.

Gen.Laws 1956, § 31-21.2-6   WEST'S GENERAL LAWS OF RHODE ISLAND ANNOTATED   TITLE 31. MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES   CHAPTER 21.2. RACIAL PROFILING PREVENTION ACT OF 2004   § 31-21.2-6. Continued data collection


(a) The Rhode Island Justice Commission is authorized to and shall conduct a study of routine traffic stops by the Rhode Island State Police and each municipal police department in order to determine whether racial profiling is occurring, and to examine whether searches of vehicles and motorists are being conducted in a disparate manner.

(b) The Rhode Island Justice Commission shall, not later than forty-five (45) days after enactment of this act, develop a form to be used by each police officer when making a traffic stop to record the data required under this chapter, which form shall include the information listed in § 31-21.1-4.

(c) The Rhode Island Justice Commission shall advise the Rhode Island State Police and each municipal police department of the date that data collection shall commence. Data collection shall begin not later than October 1, 2004, but may begin prior to that time upon notification to police departments from the Rhode Island Justice Commission.

(d) A traffic stop data collection card shall be completed for each routine traffic stop by the Rhode Island State Police and municipal police department during the term of this study.

(e) Upon commencement of data collection, and monthly thereafter, each municipal police department and the Rhode Island State Police shall transmit to the Rhode Island Justice Commission all forms collected to date of motorists who were stopped, and any other information the police department or the Rhode Island State Police deem appropriate. Data collection shall continue for twelve (12) months following commencement of data collection.

(f) Appropriate funding shall be made available to implement the provision of this chapter, and completion of this study shall be contingent upon such funding.

(g) The study shall include a multivariate analysis of the collected data in accordance with general statistical standards, and shall be substantially similar to the study prepared pursuant to chapter 21.1 of this title. The study shall be prepared by an organization, company, person or other entity with sufficient expertise in the field of statistics and the study of traffic stop data collection to assist with the implementation of this chapter, and chosen by the Rhode Island Justice Commission. The study shall be released not later than eighteen (18) months after commencement of data collection under this chapter. The report, findings and conclusions submitted pursuant to this subsection shall be a public record.

(h) The Rhode Island Justice Commission shall be exempt from the provisions of chapter 2 of title 37 in connection with its procurement of equipment and services necessary to the implementation of this chapter.

(i) On a quarterly basis a summary report of the monthly data provided by each police department and the state police for that quarterly period shall be issued. The report shall be a public record. The summary report shall include a monthly breakdown by race for each police department of the number of traffic stops made and of searches conducted, and any other information deemed appropriate by the Rhode Island Justice Commission. The report shall be released not more than ninety (90) days after the end of each quarterly period. No information revealing the identity of any individual shall be contained in the report.

(j) Every law enforcement agency collecting data pursuant to this chapter shall ensure that supervisory personnel review each officer's stop and search documentation and data results on a weekly basis to ensure compliance with all policies, prohibitions and documentation requirements.

(k) The head of every law enforcement agency subject to this chapter, or his or her designee, shall review the data on a regular basis in an effort to determine whether any racial disparities in the agency's traffic stops enforcement exists, and to appropriately respond to any such disparities.

(l) An organization chartered for the purpose of combating discrimination, racism, or of safeguarding civil liberties, or of promoting full, free, or equal employment opportunities, and/or the Rhode Island Justice Commission may seek appropriate relief in a civil action against any police department for failing to collect or transmit the data required in this chapter, and may be awarded its costs, including attorneys' fees, for bringing such an action. As a condition precedent to the filing of a civil action by an organization under this section, the organization shall send a notice to the Rhode Island Justice Commission identifying the police department which is failing to collect or transmit the data and the organization shall then allow fifteen (15) days to elapse.

(m) The Rhode Island Justice Commission shall consult with community, police and civil rights representatives, as the executive director deems appropriate, in the development of the form required by subsection (b) and on other issues that arise relating to the implementation and enforcement of this chapter.
GENERAL LAWS OF RHODE ISLAND ANNOTATED   TITLE 31. MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES   CHAPTER 21.1. TRAFFIC STOPS STATISTICS   § 31-21.1-5. Adoption of written policies


(a) Not later than ninety (90) days after January 1, 2004, each police department and the state police shall adopt written policies which shall prohibit the use of racial profiling as the sole reason for stopping or searching motorists for routine traffic stops.

(b) Copies of the policies adopted pursuant to this section shall be submitted to the attorney general and the committee, and shall be public records.

 

Gen.Laws 1956, § 31-21.1-4   WEST'S GENERAL LAWS OF RHODE ISLAND ANNOTATED   TITLE 31. MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES   CHAPTER 21.1. TRAFFIC STOPS STATISTICS   § 31-21.1-4. Traffic stop study


(a) The attorney general is authorized to and shall conduct a study of routine traffic stops by the Rhode Island state police and each municipal police department. The study shall include the collection and analysis of the data received from the police department pursuant to this section, which shall include the following information for each traffic stop conducted by the police:

(1) The date, time and general location of the traffic stop;

(2) The race or ethnicity, gender, and approximate age of the driver stopped; provided that the identification of these characteristics shall be based on the observation and perception of the police officer making the stop and the information shall not be requested of the person stopped;

(3) The reason for the stop;

(4) Whether a search was instituted as a result of the stop;

(5) The scope of any search conducted;

(6) Whether the search was conducted pursuant to consent, probable cause, or reasonable suspicion to suspect a crime;

(7) Whether any contraband, including money, was seized in the course of the search, and if so, the nature of the contraband;

(8) Whether any warning or citation was issued as a result of the stop;

(9) Whether an arrest was made as a result of either the stop or the search;

(10) The approximate duration of the stop; and

(11) Whether the vehicle is registered in Rhode Island or out of the state.

(b) Not later than ninety (90) days after July 13, 2000, the attorney general, with the advice of the committee, shall develop a form, in both printed and electronic format, to be used by each police officer when making a traffic stop to record the data required under this chapter.

(c) Beginning January 15, 2001, and monthly thereafter, each municipal police department and the Rhode Island state police shall transmit to the attorney general a report containing:

(1) All of the forms collected to date of motorists who were stopped;

(2) Any complaints filed by motorists who believed they were the subject of racial profiling, provided that no information revealing the identity of the complainant, witnesses or the law enforcement officer involved in the traffic stop shall be used, transmitted or disclosed in violation of the provisions of Chapter 28.6 of Title 42, the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights; and

(3) Any other information the police department or Rhode Island state police deem appropriate.

(d) The study authorized under this chapter shall include a multi-variate analysis of the collected data in accordance with general statistical standards. The attorney general shall collect data for a period of not less than twenty-four (24) months and report its findings and conclusions to the governor and the general assembly not later than thirty (30) months after the commencement of the collection of data under this chapter. The report, findings and conclusions submitted pursuant to this subsection shall be deemed a public record.

(e) In addition, the attorney general, with the advice of the committee, shall prepare on a quarterly basis a summary report of the monthly data provided by each police department and the state police for that quarterly period. The report shall be a public record. The summary report shall include a monthly breakdown by race for each police department of the number of traffic stops made and of searches conducted, and any other information deemed appropriate by the attorney general with the advice of the committee. The report shall be released not more than ninety (90) days after the end of each quarterly period. No information revealing the identity of any individual shall be contained in the report.

(f) Upon July 13, 2000, the attorney general with the advice of the committee shall procure the services of an organization, company, person or other entity with sufficient expertise in the field of statistics to assist with the implementation of this chapter. The organization, company, person or other entity so retained shall assist the attorney general and the committee with the design of the methodology for gathering statistics pursuant to this chapter, monitor compliance with the act throughout the study, and conduct a statistical analysis at the conclusion of the study to determine the extent to which racial profiling exists within the state.

(g) Appropriate funding shall be made available to implement the provisions of this chapter.

(h) The department of attorney general shall be exempt from the provisions of chapter 2 of title 37 in connection with its procurement of equipment and services necessary to the implementation of this chapter.


Gen.Laws 1956, § 31-21.2-7   WEST'S GENERAL LAWS OF RHODE ISLAND ANNOTATED   TITLE 31. MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES   CHAPTER 21.2. RACIAL PROFILING PREVENTION ACT OF 2004   § 31-21.2-7. Data collection and use


(a) Data acquired under this chapter shall not be used in any legal proceeding to establish an inference of discrimination except by court order; provided, however, that use of the data for this purpose shall be allowed only upon completion of the study authorized by § 31-21.2-6. All data collected pursuant to this chapter shall be public. For those motor vehicle stops where a citation was issued or an arrest was made, the forms prepared pursuant to § 31-21.2-6(b) of this chapter shall include a citation or arrest number for reference. The data collection form shall not include the name or badge number of the officer completing the form.

(b) Any police officer who in good faith records traffic stop information pursuant to the requirements of this chapter shall not be held civilly liable for the act of recording the information unless the officer's conduct was reckless.

Gen.Laws 1956, § 31-21.2-4   WEST'S GENERAL LAWS OF RHODE ISLAND ANNOTATED   TITLE 31. MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES   CHAPTER 21.2. RACIAL PROFILING PREVENTION ACT OF 2004   § 31-21.2-4. Enforcement


Any individual who alleges a violation of this chapter, other than § 31- 21.2-6, may file a civil action for damages and any appropriate and equitable relief in Superior Court. The court may allow a prevailing plaintiff reasonable attorneys' fees as part of the costs.
Gen.Laws 1956, § 31-21.2-3   WEST'S GENERAL LAWS OF RHODE ISLAND ANNOTATED   TITLE 31. MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES   CHAPTER 21.2. RACIAL PROFILING PREVENTION ACT OF 2004   § 31-21.2-3. Ban on racial profiling


No state or municipal law enforcement officer or law enforcement agency shall engage in racial profiling.  For purposes of this chapter, "racial profiling" means the detention, interdiction or other disparate treatment of an individual on the basis, in whole or in part, of the racial or ethnic status of such individual, except when such status is used in combination with other identifying factors seeking to apprehend a specific suspect whose racial or ethnic status is part of the description of the suspect, which description is timely and reliable.

 

Gen.Laws 1956, § 42-137-5   WEST'S GENERAL LAWS OF RHODE ISLAND ANNOTATED   TITLE 42. STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT   CHAPTER 137. THE SELECT COMMISSION ON RACE AND POLICE-COMMUNITY RELATIONS ACT   § 42-137-5. Duties


The select commission shall:

(1) Analyze and recommend changes that will improve police-community relations in Rhode Island.

(2) Study and recommend changes needed to statutes, ordinances, institutional policies, procedures and practices deemed necessary to:

(i) Improve law enforcement work and accountability;

(ii) Reduce racism;

(iii) Enhance the administration of justice; and

(iv) Affect reconciliation between diverse segments of the statewide community.

(3) Study, recommend, promote and implement methods to achieve greater citizen participation in law enforcement policy development, review of law enforcement practices, and advocacy for the needs of law enforcement agencies, officers, and the public at large in the prevention of crime, administration of justice and public safety.

(4) Study, recommend, promote and assist in the incorporation of evolving homeland security needs with effective models of neighborhood-oriented community policing, crime prevention and public safety.

(5) Promote greater understanding of the need to incorporate cultural diversity in everyday as well as extraordinary activities involving law enforcement, public safety and the administration of justice.

(6) Analyze, review, recommend, assist in and monitor changes to police policies, procedures and practices related to:

(i) Recruitment, hiring, promotion and training of police officers;

(ii) The level and quality of diversity training, sensitivity awareness and cultural competency;

(iii) The level and quality of efforts related to building and improving overall community relations;

(iv) The use of firearms by on-duty and off-duty police officers;

(v) The use of force, the use of excessive force or the excessive use of force;

(vi) The use of racial profiling and other forms of bias based policing; and

(vii) Legislation reforming police policies, practices, or procedures involving community relations.

(7) To assist the select commission in its duties pursuant to subsection (6), all police departments shall submit to the select commission on an annual basis beginning on January 15, 2004, and for six (6) years thereafter, a report indicating what action, if any, has been taken to address any racial disparities in traffic stops and/or searches documented in the study authorized by §§ 31-21.1-4 and 31-21.2-6, and to otherwise implement any recommendations of that study. The reports shall be public records.

(8) Collect and publish data regarding complaints of police misconduct pursuant to § 31-21.2-8.

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