Senate Bill No. 572

(By Senators White, Harrison, Rowe, Snyder, Unger, Hunter and Jenkins)


[Introduced February 17, 2003; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary; and then to the Committee on Finance.]


A BILL to amend the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding thereto a new chapter, designated chapter seventeen-f, relating to racial profiling data collection; defining "minority group"; and requiring attorney general to conduct analysis of traffic stops and provide an annual report.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new chapter, designated chapter seventeen-f, to read as follows:

§17F-1-1. Definition of minority group.
For purposes of this chapter, "minority group" means individuals of African, Hispanic, native American or Asian descent.
§17F-1-2. Information obtained by police during a traffic stop.
Each time a police officer stops a driver of a motor vehicle for a violation of any motor vehicle statute or ordinance, the officer shall obtain and report the following information based on the officer's visual observation and perception to the West Virginia law-enforcement agency which employs the police officer:
(a) The identifying characteristics of the individual stopped, including the race or minority group, based on visual observation, gender and approximate age;
(b) The location of the stop;
(c) The number of persons stopped for traffic violations;
(d) The traffic violation or violations alleged to have been committed that led to the stop;
(e) Whether a warning or traffic citation was issued as a result of the stop, and if so, the violation charged or warning provided;
(f) Whether a search was performed as a result of the stop;
(g) If a search was performed, whether the person consented to the search, the probable cause or reasonable suspicion for the search, whether the person was searched, whether the person's property was searched, and the duration of the search;
(h) If a search was of a passenger in the motor vehicle, the age, gender, and race or minority group of the passenger;
(i) Whether any contraband was discovered or seized in the course of the search and the type of any contraband discovered or seized;
(j) Whether an arrest was made as a result of either the stop or the search, and if so, the crime charged; and
(k) Any additional information which the law-enforcement agency considers appropriate.
§17F-1-3. Police exemption from civil liability.
Any police officer who, in good faith, records traffic stop information under the requirements of section two of this article, may not be held civilly liable for the act of recording the information unless the officer's conduct was, unconstitutional, unreasonable or reckless.

§17F-2-1. Format of traffic stops data collection forms.
The attorney general, in consultation with the superintendent of the state police shall provide a form, in both printed and electronic format, to be used by police officers when making a traffic stop to record the information listed in section two, article one of this chapter.
§17F-2-2. Law-enforcement agency traffic stops data collection and submission.

(a) Each law-enforcement agency shall compile the data described in section two, article one of this chapter for the calender year into a report to the attorney general.
(b) Each law-enforcement agency shall submit the report to the attorney general no later than the twentieth day of January, two thousand four.
(c) If any law-enforcement agency fails to comply with the provisions of this section, the governor may withhold any state funds appropriated to the noncompliant law-enforcement agency.
(d) The attorney general shall determine the format that all law-enforcement agencies use to submit the report.
§17F-2-3. Analysis of traffic stop statistics and annual report.
(a) The attorney general shall propose legislative rules in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, prescribing appropriate methodology for analysis of the traffic stop data. The evaluation of the data must include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) Whether the number of motor vehicle stops and searches of motor vehicles occupied by members of a minority group compared to the number of motor vehicles occupied by persons who are not members of a minority group is disproportionate based on an estimate of the population and characteristics of all persons traveling on public highways, who are violating a law or ordinance.
(2) A determination as to whether any disparity found is the result of racial profiling, racial stereotyping or other race-based discrimination or selective enforcement.
(b) The attorney general shall submit a public report of the findings and make recommendations to the governor and the Legislature no later than the first day of March of the successive calender year from that in which the data was collected.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require
racial profiling data collection by law-enforcement officers and agencies each time a motorist is stopped for an alleged violation of the law. The bill also defines "minority group" while requiring the attorney general to conduct an analysis of traffic stops and provide an annual report.

This chapter is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.