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Greensboro City Council passes on opportunity to support Prohibit Racial Profiling bill

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The Greensboro City Council won’t put its support behind the Prohibit Racial Profiling bill being discussed by state lawmakers.

The council decided not to put a resolution supporting the state guidelines for police departments and sheriff’s offices to a vote Tuesday night.

City councilmembers said there are good elements to the bill but said they didn’t want to give blanket support to measures that weren’t specific to local issues.

“The will to create change is there and we need to keep it there,” said Councilwoman Sharon Hightower.

House Bill 193 would ask law enforcement agencies statewide to track traffic stops and homicides to determine if there are irregular patterns with arrest records and tickets. It would also ask agencies to add anti-discriminatory training to an officer’s annual requirements. Neighborhood watch groups would also be asked to go through anti-discriminatory training.

City Councilman Jamal Fox said while some of these measures are “common sense” he’d also like to see community meetings held to determine what issues are being seen in Greensboro.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan said the community should start seeing some of these take effect soon without the state bill because the city’s enhancement committee is working on changes including launching a citizens review board for the Greensboro Police Department.

Five citizens, who were hoping to see the city council support the bill, left disappointed. They said calling for more meetings is not as productive as backing actions that the bill would create.