Gov. Kate Brown signed legislation Monday aimed at curbing profiling by police.
The new law creates a system for people to report profiling incidents and requires law enforcement agencies to pass formal profiling bans by Jan. 1 of next year.
Profiling, under the House Bill 2002, is an instance where an officer targets someone for a suspected violation solely based on a characteristic such characteristic such as race, age, national origin, sexual orientation and homelessness. The bill gives $250,000 to Portland State University's Criminal Justice Policy Research Institute to help track data on the incidents.
Last year, the Portland Police Bureau released a report showing African American were pulled over and searched for minor traffic violations more than other racial groups. The report showed 13 percent of African American drivers stopped by police were also searched, compared to 3 percent of white drivers.
HB 2002 was one of five bills slated as a top priority for the left-leaning Fair Shot for All coalition in the 2015 legislative session, along with paid sick leave, state-run retirement accounts, the removal of criminal history questions from job applications and a minimum wage increase. The first four passed, and Democrats say they'll consider a minimum wage increase again in next year's legislative session.
"I want to thank the Legislature and the advocates for their tireless work to get these bills to my desk," Brown said in a statement Monday at a ceremonial bill signing. "Yet, our work is not done. There are still people with full time jobs who are unable to make ends meet. We must carry on the fight to ensure all Oregonians have the opportunity to earn a living wage."