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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 9, 1999

June 9, 1999



SUBJECT: Fairness in Law Enforcement: Collection of Data

We must work together to build the trust of all Americans in law enforcement. We have great confidence in our Federal law enforcement officers and know that they strive to uphold the best principles of law enforcement in our democratic society. We cannot tolerate, however, officers who cross the line and abuse their position by mistreating law-abiding individuals or who bring their own racial bias to the job. No person should be subject to excessive force, and no person should be targeted by law enforcement because of the color of his or her skin.

Stopping or searching individuals on the basis of race is not effective law enforcement policy, and is not consistent with our democratic ideals, especially our commitment to equal protection under the law for all persons. It is neither legitimate nor defensible as a strategy for public protection. It is simply wrong.

To begin addressing the problem of racial profiling, Federal agencies should collect more data at all levels of law enforcement to better define the scope of the problem. The systematic collection of statistics and information regarding Federal law enforcement activities can increase the fairness of our law enforcement practices. Tracking the race, ethnicity, and gender of those who are stopped or searched by law enforcement will help to determine where problems exist, and guide the development of solutions.

I therefore direct you to design and implement a system to collect and report statistics relating to race, ethnicity, and gender for law enforcement activities in your department. Specifically, you shall:

     (1) develop a proposal within 120 days, in consultation with the
     Attorney General, for a system of data collection and an
     implementation plan for a field test of that system, including the
     law enforcement agency components, sites, data sets, training, and
     other methods and procedures to be included in the field testing.
     You shall implement field tests within 60 days of finalizing their

     (2) to the extent practicable, collect data that is sufficiently
     detailed to permit an analysis of actions relevant to the
     activities of the included law enforcement agencies by race,
     ethnicity, or gender.  Such actions may include traffic stops,
     pedestrian stops, a more extensive inspection or interview than
     that customarily conducted with entrants to the United States,
     requests for consent to search, or warrantless searches.  Data
     acquired pursuant to this memorandum may not contain any
     information that may reveal the identity of any individual; and

     (3) provide to the Attorney General a summary of the information
     collected during the first year of your field test, including
     civilian complaints received alleging bias based on the race,
     ethnicity, or gender of the complainant in law enforcement
     activities; your process for investigating and resolving such
     complaints; and the outcomes of any such investigations.  The
     Attorney General shall report to me, in consultation with relevant
     agency heads, on the results of the field tests with:  (i) an
     evaluation of the first year of the field test; (ii) an
     implementation plan to expand the data collection and reporting
     system to other components and locations within the agency and to
     make such system permanent; and (iii) recommendations to improve
     the fair administration of law enforcement activities.

In addition, within 120 days of the date of this directive, you shall provide a report to me on your training programs, policies, and practices regarding the use of race, ethnicity, and gender in your law enforcement activities, along with recommendations for improving those programs, policies, and practices.


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