Maine police want changes to rules that aim to combat profiling

Maine police will have to track more demographic data on drivers they pull over in traffic stops starting in 2024 under proposed rules aimed at fighting racial profiling.

Attorney General Aaron Frey’s office is finalizing rules that will implement a 2021 law from House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross, D-Portland, but changes based on concerns from police and the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine may happen before it takes effect.

The early debate over the rules highlights the careful balance required on a sensitive topic that has revealed racial disparities in Maine and across the country on who gets stopped and arrested. Police are skeptical of the framework rolled out by the Democratic attorney general’s office, but the ACLU is floating a change as well.

Full story: Maine police want changes to rules that aim to combat profiling

3 Replies to “Maine police want changes to rules that aim to combat profiling”

  1. I find this very interesting, it is a step in the right direction on fighting racial disparities in the policing world. An argument from the Maine Chiefs of Police Association is that officers do not have accurate training on identifying race, gender, ethnicity and age. This I can understand a little bit but most people have their accurate information listed on their licenses when being pulled over. This new rule that the Democratic Attorney Generals office wants to implement is a form officers must send in about the persons race and reason for being stopped in efforts to decrease racial profiling. My question is that with there being so many ways and reasons an officer can pull someone over for such minor traffic violations, is this really going to stop racial profiling from police officers?

    1. Hi Jordan! Regarding your question, I don’t think any effect on racial profiling by police will happen unless the proper time and resources are put in to make sure the officers are actually not racially profiling. Such as closely monitoring their behavior. As the article says the officer has to state the perceived race, color, ethnicity, age, and gender of everyone they stop. This doesn’t necessarily keep officers from racially profiling anyone. If put into effect the officers would pull someone over like normal even if they are racial profiling them. And if questioned on whether or not they pulled them over for discriminatory means they could just lie about their reasoning. Personally I don’t think this will change anything.

  2. Hi Jordan, that is a very good question. This new rule is definitely a step in the right direction, but it isn’t a big enough step. Police officers might have to input the race of the person being pulled as well as the reason they are pulled over, but that could easily be manipulated. If a police officer wants to pull someone, like officer brown said a good cop can find a reason to pull you over within 30 seconds. This can prove the new rule isn’t enough. I’m not sure what measures could be put in place to help with this issue, but this is not enough.

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