Civil Rights Leaders Urge California's Gov. Davis To Drop Opposition to Data Collection on Racial Profiling

August 8, 2000 12:00 am

Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

WASHINGTON — A broad coalition of national civil rights organizations today urged Governor Gray Davis of California to switch his position and join 7 other governors around the country in supporting legislation that mandates the collection of data to help quantify the issue of racial profiling.

“For people of color who have experienced racial profiling, data collection is a tangible sign that their experiences are being taken seriously and will be addressed,” said a letter to Gov. Davis signed by 14 civil rights leaders, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., President and Founder, Rainbow Push Coalition, and Raul Yzaguirre, President of National Council of La Raza.

With broad bipartisan support, the California legislature has twice passed data-collection bills. But Gov. Davis has twice vetoed the legislation and instead is supporting a bill that would only provide training for officers and require them to pass out cards during traffic stops informing people how to make an official complaint.

“Data collection is critical to any meaningful effort to address the serious problem of racial profiling that has plagued communities of color,” the letter said. “Data collection will provide necessary information for addressing the problem in the communities where racial profiling exists and provide a base line for measuring the effectiveness of whatever remedies you propose to address the problem.”

Other organizations that signed the letter include the American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium.

Two leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus also wrote to Gov. Davis this week, urging him to support a data collection bill. That letter, signed by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA, and Rep. John Conyers, D-MI, said that “nothing is more important to developing a solution” to racial profiling than collecting data.

For more information:

By completing this form, I agree to receive occasional emails per the terms of the ACLU’s privacy policy.

The latest in Smart Justice

ACLU's Vision

The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.

Learn More About Smart Justice

Smart Justice issue image

The ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice is an unprecedented, multiyear effort to reduce the U.S. jail and prison population by 50% and to challenge racism in the criminal legal system.