Lawmakers in Salem took up a bill Monday that would require the state to set up a method for recording profiling complaints against law enforcement agencies.
According to the Center for Intercultural Organizing, Oregon is among just eight states that don’t ban profiling.
According to the nonprofit, Oregon also has no way for people to document or report cases of profiling. Rather, the state leaves issues of profiling up to individual law enforcement agencies.
Rep. Lew Frederick, D-Portland, is a chief sponsor of the bill and told the House Judiciary Committee on Monday about his own experiences being profiled by police outside his own house.
“I’ve been stopped in my neighborhood multiple times,” he said. “No reason given, expect maybe ask if I was lost .… It’s a funny story the first time. After that, not so much.”
Frederick said profiling is suspicion based on who you are rather than what you’ve done.
“It’s hearing the description of a suspect as black and stopping there, considering the next black person who comes in sight to be the suspect,” he said. “Profiling is police attention based on stereotypes. It adds up over time. It degrades the quality of our lives. It needs to stop.”
Kevin Campbell, executive director of the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police, told the committee the bill is heading in the right direction.
“Bias policing is not professional policing,” he said. “It just isn’t.”
In addition to setting up a system for tracking profiling complaints, the bill would authorize the Attorney General to investigate.