As of yesterday, Maryland became the first state in the country to enact strict new rules aimed at ending discriminatory profiling by police.
“Racial profiling continues despite the fact that it is against the law of the United States; it’s against Maryland law,” State Attorney General Brian E. Frosh told the New York Times. Of course, Maryland (like many other states) already had a law requiring police departments to prohibit racial and ethnic profiling during traffic stops. The new guidelines expand on this — they apply to all routine operations, not just traffic stops, and include national origin, identity, disability, and religion as other personal characteristics that should not be profiled.
The new rules are in alignment with broader national attempts to curb profiling; whether they’ll translate into results on the ground — and better relationships between police and communities — is another question.