KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A week of public outcry and violence in Ferguson, Mo., sparked a conversation of change. A U.S. Senator is calling on Congress to pass a bill aiming to end racial profiling.
It’s called the End Racial Profiling Act.
The Maryland Senator who is backing it said it would pay for education for law enforcement, providing better teaching of the difference between suspect descriptions and racial profiling.
We’ve found both Kansas and Missouri require its new police officers to go through at least one racial relation training course.
Though the Kansas City Police Department declined to talk about the topic, Mayor Sly James said the officers are on the right track.
“I believe that our officers are engaged in the community on a level they've never been before. Because of that, there is a real connection, and we have an ability to make sure that we foster as opposed to fight," James said.
Attorney Philip Cardarella specializes in criminal law and police interaction. He said the real problem lies not in a lack of training but in the knee-jerk reaction.
“Think about how many times you end up with unnecessary confrontations with young men who are sensitive to this to begin with, and the police who are being asked to basically teach people manners,” Cardarella said.
Beyond the violence and police response in Ferguson, Cardarella said the situation boils down to one lesson.
“Everybody can learn and maybe police can help to learn the dirty little secret about race. Which is really, everybody's pretty much the same and treat people that way," he said.