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Angeles County | Community News File / Los Angeles

Legislator Urges Study of Police Traffic Stops

June 24, 1998

Assemblyman Kevin Murray (D-Los Angeles) introduced a bill Tuesday to study whether traffic stops unfairly target minority motorists in California.

Murray, who said Beverly Hills police stopped him earlier this month only because he is African American, said the legislation would require police departments to file annual reports on their traffic stops with the Department of Justice.

The reports would include statistics detailing ethnicity, age and gender of motorists; the alleged traffic violation and whether a citation or warning was issued; whether a search was conducted, its legal basis and any seized items, and whether an arrest was made.

Murray was stopped after leaving an election night victory party June 3. The Beverly Hills Police Department said he was pulled over because his Corvette did not have a front license plate, but no citation was issued.

"The phenomenon of what has been duly dubbed 'Driving While Black' is a disturbing trend affecting African Americans, Latinos and other minorities across the nation," Murray said. "The fact that we do not know how many drivers are being pulled over or how many law enforcement officers are engaging in racial profiling is truly disturbing."

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