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National police union expects Trump to reverse the ‘ban on racial profiling’

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The National Fraternal Order of Police issued a statement suggesting what actions the Trump administration might take in its first 100 days, including among them a reversal of “the broad, Bush-era ban on racial profiling.”

President George W. Bush issued guidelines in July 2003 barring federal agents from using race or ethnicity as a factor in their investigations, although the policy carved out “narrow” circumstances in situations where federal agents were trying to “identify terrorist threats and stop potential catastrophic attack.”

Per the Fraternal Order of Police website, the organization views racial profiling as a “statistical disparity,” arguing legislation places the burden on “law enforcement agency to somehow prove itself innocent of engaging in the unlawful use of race in its procedures and practices.” The organization also takes issue with the protection of “racial and ethnic minorities,” thereby “excluding members of other races.”

Trump has indicated he would take a much less hard-lined approach than his predecessors with regard to racial profiling, arguing as recently as September that police need more leeway to investigate suspects on the basis of their race.

“Our local police — they know who a lot of these people are,” Trump said in September. “They are afraid to do anything about it because they don’t want to be accused of profiling.

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“They see somebody that’s suspicious, they will profile,” Trump added. “Look what’s going on: Do we really have a choice? We’re trying to be so politically correct in our country, and this is only going to get worse.”

The police union supported Trump during the general election, releasing a statement in September touting his “real commitment to law enforcement.”

“We have a candidate who declined to seek an endorsement and a candidate without any record as an elected official,” national president, Chuck Canterbury said in a statement. “Mr. Trump, however, has seriously looked at the issues facing law enforcement today. He understands and supports our priorities and our members believe he will make America safe again.”

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Study after study indicates racial profiling does not work, and in fact “may actually be counterproductive” to solving crimes.

(Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the document was a list of suggestions for the Trump administration.)


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