31 Aug 2015

Maryland issues guidance to address police profiling

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh issued statewide guidelines Tuesday to prevent discriminatory profiling by law enforcement officers based on race, gender and other characteristics.

Frosh said the guidelines are similar to guidance issued in December by the U.S. Justice Department, which called on states to adopt their own. Frosh said Maryland is the first state to issue its own guidance.

“We want this memorandum to create the standard for how law enforcement operates in Maryland,” Frosh said.

“We believe that we can improve the administration of justice without making jobs that our law enforcement officers do more difficult.”

Frosh, a Democrat, said the guidance goes significantly further than current Maryland law. First, it defines discriminatory profiling not only based on race and ethnicity, but also on national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability and religion. It also applies to a broader range of police actions beyond traffic stops, including routine police operations and ongoing investigations.

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