Senate Bill No. 572
(By Senators White, Harrison, Rowe, Snyder, Unger, Hunter and
[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:
CHAPTER 17F. RACIAL PROFILING DATA COLLECTION ACT.
ARTICLE 1. RACIAL PROFILING DATA COLLECTION.
§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
(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
(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.
ARTICLE 2. ANALYSIS OF TRAFFIC STOPS STUDY AND ANNUAL REPORT BY
§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
(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
(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
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
This chapter is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.