Council introduces anti-racial profiling act

Providence City Hall

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Providence City Council introduced a ground-breaking new ordinance Thursday night that would ban racial profiling and address police misconduct.

The council met at city hall with community members to introduce the new Community Safety Act.

Community members gathered in the hallway outside council chambers, chanting slogans, and displaying banners reading “STOP RACIAL PROFILING AND POLICE BRUTALITY” in English and Spanish.

The ordinance eliminates searches of people without probable cause and allows civilians to record or videotape police activity. It also requires officers to document details of every stop, including race and ethnicity of the person being stopped, their age, and the reason they were approached.

Fred Ordonez, of the Providence activism group Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE), said, “Police have to have probable cause and reasonable suspicion for doing what they do. And, they have to document what that is. It’s not stopping them from doing their work.”

Residents who believe they may have been targeted before said they were glad their local government is behind them.

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