JEFFERSON CITY - A Senate committee heard two bills designed to stop racial profiling by Missourian law enforcement Tuesday March 1, 2016. The bills provide specific guidelines for police when performing a routine traffic stop and request training for law enforcement on how to interact with citizens and while using appropriate force.
Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-St. Louis County, originally sponsored the bill. It was adopted and modified by Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis City.
The sponsor of one of the bills, Sen, Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, said the relationship between Missouri's law enforcement and its citizens has become very negative, and this bill would help everyone in the community.
"This bill is not an attack to police officers," Nasheed said. "What we are trying to weed out the bad cops for the betterment of the community and law enforcement alike."
Ferguson Resident Tiffani Reliford told the committee how racial profiling affects her and her community.
"As a resident for eighteen years, I witnessed racial profiling and discriminatory practices," Reliford said.
Reliford expressed her fear of her community being destroyed due to the heightened racial tensions between law enforcement and citizens, before and after the Mike Brown trial and unrest in Ferguson.
"I knew once I walked out my house, I could be viewed as a subject simply for being black," Reliford said. "This was my reality, while living in Ferguson."
The bill seeks to limit biased policing by giving guidelines for questions that a police office can ask during a traffic stop.
The Missouri Fraternal Order of Police President, Kevin Alhbrand said the point of traffic stops is to ask questions when something seems unusual.
"Really the most concerning section to me is the part that limits what an officer can ask during an investigatory stop," Alhbrand said.
Alhbrand said the bill would make it more difficult for police officers to their jobs and micromanages law enforcement.
No immediate action was taken on the bill.