§ 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.
(P.L. 2004, ch. 331, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 356, § 1.)