Democrat representative Sheila Jackson Lee has introduced a bill to require state and local police departments to report broad information about all traffic stops into a national database under the control of the Justice Department.
Ostensibly for the purpose of studying racial profiling along the border, the so-called “Traffic Stops Along the Border Statistics Study Act of 2013″ would apply to law enforcement agencies across the country.
To buy off the local departments, the Act would allow the Justice Department to make grants “to collect and submit the data” demanded by the Act.
While Lee’s purpose likely is only in regard to race and racial profiling, and I don’t think this bill will actually go anywhere, the further centralization of power over local police and police data it represents is disturbing. A nationalized police is a loss of true police function, for police power then changes from protection of local citizens to enforcement of the State’s interests as imposed on local citizens.
Summary of the bill says:
Directs the Attorney General to: (1) conduct a nationwide study of stops for traffic violations by law enforcement officers; (2) perform an initial analysis of existing data, including complaints alleging and information concerning traffic stops motivated by race and other bias; and (3) gather specified data from a nationwide sample of jurisdictions, including the traffic infraction alleged to have been committed that led to the stop, identifying characteristics of the driver stopped, whether immigration status was questioned, and whether any warning or citation was issued as a result of the stop.
Authorizes the Attorney General to make grants to law enforcement agencies to collect and submit data collected under this Act to the appropriate agency as designated by the Attorney General. Prohibits information released from revealing the identity of any individual who is stopped or any officer involved.