HBA-SEP H.B. 2458 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2458 By: Thompson Criminal Jurisprudence 3/25/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE 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 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 2458 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. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY 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. ANALYSIS House Bill 2458 amends the Code of Criminal Procedure and Occupation and Transportation codes relating to the prevention of racial profiling by certain peace officers. The bill amends the Code of Criminal Procedure to require each law enforcement agency to adopt and implement a written policy on racial profiling not later than January 1, 2002. The bill sets forth policy specifications including the prohibition of racial profiling; the required collection and quarterly evaluation of information relating to traffic stops in which a citation is issued or an arrest made and the person's ethnicity and whether a search was conducted; and the required submission, to the governing body of each county or municipality, of an annual report of the information collected. Such a report is prohibited from containing information about a peace officer who makes a traffic stop or an individual who is stopped or arrested. On adoption of the policy, a law enforcement agency is required to examine the feasibility of installing video camera and voice activated microphone equipment in each agency law enforcement motor vehicle regularly used to make traffic stops. If a law enforcement agency installs such equipment, the policy must include standards for reviewing video and audio documentation (Art. 2.132). The bill requires a peace officer who stops a motor vehicle for an alleged violation of a traffic law or ordinance or who stops a pedestrian for any suspected offense to report to the law enforcement agency that employs the officer certain information including a physical description of each detained person (Art. 2.133). A law enforcement agency is required to compile and analyze the information contained in each report and, not later than March 1 of each year beginning in 2004, submit a report containing the information compiled during the previous calendar year to the governing body of each county or municipality served by the agency. The bill sets forth specifications for the report. The report is prohibited from containing information about a peace officer who makes a traffic stop or an individual who is stopped or arrested. The Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education is required to develop guidelines for compiling and reporting the required information (Art. 2.134). The bill exempts a peace officer from reporting information concerning traffic and pedestrian stops and exempts a law enforcement agency from the compilation, analysis, and reporting requirements if, during the calendar year preceding the date that a report is required to be submitted, each law enforcement motor vehicle regularly used to make traffic and pedestrian stops is equipped with video camera and voice activated microphone equipment and each stop recorded. Unless a complaint is filed with a law enforcement agency alleging that a peace officer has engaged in racial profiling, an exempt law enforcement agency is required to retain the video and audio or audio documentation of each traffic or pedestrian stop for at least 90 days after the stop. If such a complaint is made, the agency is required to retain the video and audio or audio record of the stop until the final disposition of the complaint (Art. 2.135). The bill provides that a peace officer is not liable for damages arising from an act relating to the collection or reporting of information under reports required for traffic and pedestrian stops (Art. 2.136). The bill amends the Occupations Code to require the Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education, as part of the minimum curriculum requirements, to establish, not later than January 1, 2002, a statewide comprehensive education and training program on racial profiling for licensed law enforcement officers. An officer is required to complete such a program not later than the second anniversary of the date the officer becomes a licensed law enforcement officer or the date the officer applies for an intermediate proficiency certificate, whichever date is earlier (Secs. 1701.253 and 1701.402). EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.