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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A measure President Barack Obama originally pushed during his time in the Illinois Legislature to prevent racial profiling is closer to becoming a permanent law in Illinois.
 
The House on Thursday approved the legislation requiring police officers to record the ethnicity of every driver they stop. It now heads to the Senate.
 
Then-state Sen. Barack Obama and Democratic Rep. Monique Davis sponsored the original measure in 2004. It mandated the reporting for a three-year period, and had to be extended each time it expired. The current measure is set to expire in 2015.
 
Members of the House Black Caucus say racial profiling is still too prevalent in Illinois.
 
But law enforcement officials who oppose the legislation say there are other ways to examine racial profiling.
Published in Local News

   WASHINGTON (AP) - More than a decade ago, then-state Sen. Barack Obama helped pass a racial profiling bill in Illinois. Now that effort is offering clues about how America's first black president feels about an issue still polarizing the U.S. months after Trayvon Martin's death.

   Obama has said little about the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who was charged with killing the black teenager in Florida. Obama says the jury has spoken, but wants the nation to seek ways to prevent future tragedies.

   In 2003, Obama passed a bill requiring police to keep track of the race, age and gender of drivers they pulled over. The records could then be analyzed for bias.

   Obama has written about his own experiences with profiling, including being pulled over, in his words, "for no apparent reason."

 
Published in National News
St. Louis County police have started an investigation of one officer for allegedly starting a program of racial profiling.

Information officer Randy Vaughn says that Lieutenant Patrick Hayes has been placed on leave while the claims are investigated. An anonymous letter from a county officer accused Hayes of ordering officers in his command to focus on arresting black people in a mainly white part of south county. The Post-Dispatch reports that Police Chief Tim Fitch hopes to have the results of the inquiry within two weeks.

Hayes is a 19-year veteran of the force.
Published in Local News

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