What is Racial Profiling?
Racial Profiling, by legislative definition, means a law enforcement-initiated action based on an individual’s race, ethnicity, or national origin rather than on the individual’s behavior or on information identifying the individual as having engaged in criminal activity. (Art. 3.05, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure) The new law strictly prohibits racial profiling by law enforcement in any form.
The 77th Texas Legislature addressed the issue of Racial Profiling by passing legislation requiring all law enforcement officers to report information to their respective agencies regarding traffic or pedestrian stops. Required information includes a physical description of the individual to include the person’s gender and race or ethnicity. Officers will also collect data about searches they conduct, what contraband, if any, is located, and the reason for their stop or contact with a person.
Data collection of this magnitude is new for peace officers in the State of Texas and certainly in Lewisville. The department does not wish to offend any person in our attempts to comply with State Law. The new laws went into effect on September 1, 2001 but data collection by police departments is not required to begin until January 1, 2002.
So, how do I file a complaint?
Policy and the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure prohibit racial profiling so complaints of racial profiling will be thoroughly investigated. Any person who believes they were stopped and/or searched solely because of race, ethnicity or national origin may contact Internal Affairs to file a complaint. Contact information is available below.
PLEASE NOTE: Intentional false complaints may result in criminal charges.
What about a policy on racial profiling?
Each law enforcement agency in the state is required by law to have a policy prohibiting racial profiling. The Lewisville Police Department implemented its policy prohibiting racial profiling on December 18, 2001. Our policy mirrors state law and calls for corrective action to occur in the event an incident of racial profiling is discovered. In addition, we have instituted a system to track data collected from all traffic and pedestrian stops, complaint procedures for individuals who believe they were stopped due to racial profiling, and a public education campaign designed to inform citizens and police officers about the new changes in law.
Video and Audio Equipment
The new law also requires law enforcement agencies to examine the feasibility of installing audio and video recording equipment on “each law enforcement motor vehicle regularly used to make traffic stops”, and transmitter-activated equipment in each agency law enforcement motorcycle regularly used to make traffic stops.
The Lewisville Police Department has equipped all marked units with equipment recommended by law.
Agencies can exempt themselves from collecting some data and from the annual analysis report by having all vehicles equipped and maintaining videotapes for at least 90 days after the stop.
Equal Treatment Policy
The Lewisville Police Department pledges equal treatment under the law to all persons regardless of race, creed, color, sex, or religious preference. If you feel mistreated by any officer in this department, report it to any police supervisor or contact Internal Affairs Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 972.219.3616.
Lewisville Police Department
P.O. Box 299002
Lewisville, Texas 75029-9002