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NEW: Groups Slam Police Chiefs for Opposing Racial Profiling Bill

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


A community coalition is taking the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association to task for withdrawing support from an anti-racial profiling bill.

The Coalition Against Racial Profiling issued an angrily worded statement about the turnaround this morning, saying it had worked hard with the chiefs association on a revised version of the Comprehensive Racial Profiling Prevention Act, which is sponsored by Rep. Grace Diaz and Sen. Rhoda Perry, D-Providence.

The coalition sent a letter to head Chief Edward Mello demanding an explanation for why his association had changed its position.

“In order for any meeting of the parties to be useful, we believe it is essential that we first be given a full explanation for RIPCA’s decision to withdraw its support for a bill that had been approved by its members only a week earlier,” the letter states.

It continues: “Although we do not believe we are in a position to sacrifice any more without gutting the bill, and we continue to feel the sting of RIPCA’s decision to renege on the compromise that had been reached, we have also concluded that it would be wrong to ignore Sen. McCaffrey’s appeal to the parties to still try to work this out.”

Nineteen of the organizations in the coalition signed the letter. They include: the R.I. Commission for Human Rights, the NAACP Providence Branch, ULMAC, Providence Youth Student Movement, the American Friends Service Committee, the R.I. ACLU, and the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers.

Click here to read the letter.

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