Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1336
By: Wilson
Criminal Jurisprudence


Many minority motorists across the country have been treated differently
than nonminority motorists when stopped by law enforcement officers.  The
federal government is considering and several states have undertaken
measures aimed at preventing racial profiling by law enforcement officers.
A recent Texas Department of Public Safety study found that
African-American and Hispanic motorists were more likely than Caucasian
motorists to be subjected to searches after being stopped by a state
trooper.  Current law does not contain provisions specifically targeted
toward reducing or eliminating racial profiling as a law enforcement
practice.  House Bill 1336 creates provisions for the reporting of traffic
stops by peace officers, the analysis and review of these reports by the
appropriate authorities, the prohibition of pretext search and seizures,
and procedures for a law enforcement agency that determines an officer has
violated these provisions.   


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


House Bill 1336 amends the Code of Criminal Procedure to create provisions
relating to reducing or eliminating racial profiling as a law enforcement
practice.  The bill requires a peace officer who stops a motor vehicle for
an alleged violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic to report to
the law enforcement agency that employs the officer the age, gender, and
race or ethnicity of the driver of the vehicle and the law or ordinance
alleged to have been violated.  The bill requires the report to include
whether the officer conducted a search as a result of the stop, and if so,
requires a specified description of the search.  The bill also requires the
report to include whether the officer discovered any contraband in the
course of the search, whether the officer made an arrest as a result of the
stop or the search, and the location of the stop.  

The bill requires a law enforcement agency to compile the information
contained in each report and submit the information compiled during the
previous calendar year to the governing body of each county or municipality
served by the agency not later than March 1 of each year.  The bill
requires a governing body that receives the information from a law
enforcement agency to analyze the information and, not later than September
1 of the year in which the information is received, submit to the
Commission on Human Rights and each law enforcement agency from which the
governing body received information a report relating to the results of the
analysis.  The bill sets forth provisions for the contents of the report.  

H.B. 1336 requires a law enforcement agency to review each report submitted
to the agency to determine whether the number of vehicles stopped by any
peace officer employed by the agency is disproportionate to the population
of the county or municipality served by the agency according to race or
ethnicity.  If a law enforcement agency determines that the number of
vehicles stopped by a peace officer is disproportionate, the bill requires
the agency to conduct an investigation of the officer.   

 H.B. 1336 specifies that the purpose of the investigation of the officer
is to determine whether the officer routinely stops vehicles the drivers of
which are members of a racial or ethnic minority group for alleged
violations of laws or ordinances regulating traffic as a pretext for
investigating other violations of penal laws. The bill requires the law
enforcement agency, if it determines that a peace officer routinely stops
vehicles in the manner described above, to begin the necessary proceedings
to terminate the officer and refer the matter to the attorney representing
the state for possible prosecution under provisions relating to official
oppression or the violation of the civil rights of a person in custody.
The bill also requires each law enforcement agency to adopt a policy not
later than January 1, 2002, that prohibits peace officers employed by the
agency from routinely stopping vehicles in the manner described above. 

H.B. 1336 prohibits a pretext search or seizure relating to these
provisions.  The bill sets forth provisions relating to the first
submission of such information to a governing body by a law enforcement
agency and adoption of policy by a law enforcement agency. 


September 1, 2001.