The Clarion-Ledger, 1/14/9

Several Mississippians told a state House panel Tuesday they had been victims of racial profiling and asked legislators to toughen laws against the practice.

Two metro-area police chiefs testified they believe racial profiling is occurring in the state, while Jackson’s chief questioned the need for legislators’ involvement.

“A lot of folks think just because they’ve not experienced it, it doesn’t exist,” said House Judiciary B Committee chairman Willie Bailey, D-Greenville.

Proposed legislation by the ACLU prompted the hearing. The draft legislation would fine officers who commit acts of racial profiling and would require that law enforcement agencies collect race and gender data when arrests are made.