Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Detroit council OK's racial profiling ban

May 9, 2007

The City Council voted 9-0 today to pass a new ordinance that bans profiling people based on race, immigration status, ethnicity, dress and appearance, among other factors.

It was developed after talks with local Latino, Arab and Muslim groups, who say that immigrants are sometimes asked for their residency papers after being pulled over by police.

The Detroit-based group, Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength, played a lead role in pushing for the new law, which provides exceptions by allowing police to ask about immigration status in criminal cases.

Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, said he is pleased with the council’s vote. “It’s great it passed,” Walid said. “The city of Detroit should be seen as a place that is not hostile to immigrants.”(MORE)

Anti-profiling law passed in Detroit
Gregg Krupa / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- In response to the concerns from groups representing Latinos, Muslims and people of Arab descent, the Detroit City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Wednesday that prohibits city officials from profiling people based on their appearance, race and other factors.
The ordinance also prohibits city officials from asking the immigration status of people not involved in serious crimes.

"We are pleased the ordinance passed, but our support of the ordinance is not support for people coming to America and breaking the law," said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations for Michigan.

"We are against the harassment of people who are residents of Detroit or who come to Detroit, based on their physical appearance."(MORE)

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