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Black Legislators Propose Significant Reforms to Oregon Laws

Black Representatives are proposing significant reforms to Oregon law that are designed to address racial disparities in how our State is policed.

These include House Bill 2002, which would limit future driving arrests, end traffic stops for vehicle infractions, and much more.

Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man was recently murdered by police due to a faulty traffic stop for expired car tags. His tragic death is just one of many that could have been prevented through this bill, and explains why lawmakers are advocating long needed reforms.

Some major elements of HB 2002 include: prohibiting police officers from making arrests for around 20 misdemeanor crimes, restricting law enforcement from pulling citizens over for broken vehicle lights, making it mandatory for officers to identify themselves and state their reason for stopping a citizen on the road, instances of improper registration, and more.

Law enforcement will also be required to inform people they do not have to consent to a search during a minor traffic stop.

A study published by Ravi Shroff, an assistant professor at NYU Steinhardt and NYU CUSP, alongside the Stanford Open Policing Project, demonstrated that in datasets of over 100 million traffic stops, Black drivers are more likely to be pulled over than white drivers by 20 percent. Just this percentage proves the injustices towards Black people, and how many deaths could have been prevented due to racial bias.

HB 2002 presents an opportunity for much needed police reform that can ensure greater community public safety, reducing racism within law enforcement, and ultimately decreasing instances of dangerous and lethal encounters between law enforcement and people of color.

Our law firm endorses all efforts to promote equal justice under the law and make law enforcement fair to people of all races and ethnicities.

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