Governor Kim Reynolds has promised Iowa a ban on racial profiling by police. Now our civil rights are at stake.
Instead of legislation that would do as Reynolds promised, a thirty-page bill has emerged, riddled with stipulations that would undermine freedom of speech and reduce police accountability. The proposed legislation lacks key components, such as data collection, that would make the racial profiling language meaningful and impactful, ultimately doing more harm than good for racial progress in our state.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, this bill would heap unnecessary penalties on protestors and stifle the free speech and assembly rights of Iowans. Government officials, including law enforcement officers, should be held accountable for the actions they take while serving the American people, but the proposed legislation grants special immunity to police officers, curbing the ability of communities to hold officers accountable. These policies have a broad negative impact on all of us, and would disproportionately impact Black Iowans even while on the surface promising to reduce discrimination.
Iowans deserve truly meaningful protection from discrimination and racial profiling, and Governor Reynolds should veto legislation that would erode our power to hold police accountable and crumble our rights to free speech.
Bailey Wilson, Pella