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."
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.