MIDLAND ISD POLICE DEPARTMENT RACIAL PROFILING GENERAL ORDER
Senate Bill 1074 passed in the 77th Texas Legislative Session in 2001, was designed to address a major issue facing law enforcement in America – Racial Profiling.
The purpose of this General Order is to define Midland Independent School District Police Department policy, and provide guidance to employees regarding racial profiling prohibitions.
The guidelines in this General Order are intended to reaffirm the department’s commitment to unbiased policing in all encounters between officers and citizens/students; to ensure procedural justice by reinforcing procedures that serve to ensure public confidence and mutual trust through the provision of services in a fair and equitable fashion; and to protect officers from unwarranted accusations of misconduct when acting within the guidelines of departmental policy and the law.
- MISD School District Peace Officers shall police school campuses in a proactive manner, and look into suspected violations of laws and regulations which were enacted to preserve the safety and security of all persons and It shall be the duty of these officers, to conduct their activities both on and off campuses, without regard for the race, ethnicity, or national origins of those they come into contact with.
- MISD School District Peace Officers shall conduct themselves in a respectful manner at all times when dealing with the public. Two of the fundamental rights guaranteed by both the United States and Texas constitutions, are equal protection under the law, and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures by government agents. The right of all persons to be treated equally, and to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures must be respected. Racial Profiling is an unacceptable policing tactic, and is strictly prohibited.
- In addition to the MISD School District Peace Officer’s prohibitions against racial profiling in accordance with state law, this MISD policy also prohibits Biased - Based Profiling based solely upon gender, sexual orientation, religion, economic status, age, cultural group, or any other identifiable group.
- This order shall not preclude MISD School District Peace Officers from offering assistance to citizens as needed, such as helping someone with a flat tire, or another who appears to be lost, ill, or confused. Nor does it prohibit officers from stopping someone suspected of a crime based upon observed actions and/or information received about the person.
RACIAL PROFILING – A law enforcement-initiated action based upon an individual’s race, ethnicity, or national origin rather than upon the individual’s behavior or information identifying the individual as having engaged in criminal activity.
The term racial profiling pertains to persons who are viewed as suspects or potential suspects of criminal activity. Racial profiling does not apply to witnesses or complainants in the law enforcement context.
Prohibitions against racial profiling do not prevent law enforcement officers from using race, ethnicity, or national origin as legitimate suspect variables in detention decisions. Race, ethnicity, or national origin may be legitimate factors in a detention decision when used as part of an actual description of a specific suspect for whom an officer is searching. Detaining an individual and conducting an inquiry into that person’s activities solely because of individual’s race, ethnicity, or national origin however, is racial profiling. Examples of racial profiling include but are not limited to the following:
- Detaining a person and investigating their activities simply because of their race, ethnicity, or national
- Stopping a driver of an expensive vehicle based upon your determination that persons of their race, ethnicity, or national origin are not likely to own or possess such a vehicle
- Stopping and detaining only students or motorists of a certain race, ethnicity, or national origin on traffic violations.
A law enforcement agency can derive the following principals from the adoption of the above definition and examples of racial profiling:
- That law enforcement officers, including school district peace officers, may not use racial or ethnic stereotypes as factors in selecting whom to stop and search.
- Racial profiling is not applicable as it pertains to witnesses or others not suspected of criminal activity.
- That police may not use racial or ethnic stereotypes as factors in selecting whom to stop and search, but may consider race in conjunction with other known factors of a criminal suspect being sought.
RACE or ETHNICITY – Of a particular decent, including Hispanic or Latino, Caucasian or White, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian or Pacific Islander, Black or African American, Middle Eastern.
TRAFFIC STOP - An act by which a peace officer stops a motor vehicle for an alleged violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic movement.
BIAS BASED PROFILING – A law enforcement-initiated action, detention, or interdiction based solely on a trait common to a group of individuals, rather than on the individual’s behavior and/or information tending to identify the individual as having engaged in criminal activity.
A law enforcement agency can derive the following principals from the adoption of the above definition of bias-based profiling;
- That law enforcement officers including school district peace officers, may not initiate law enforcement actions, stops, or detentions based solely upon a trait common to a group of individuals, rather than criminal
- That bias based profiling is not applicable as it pertains to witnesses, complainants, or others who are not suspected of criminal
- That police officers including MISD School District Peace Officers, are prohibited from profiling an individual based solely upon their gender, sexual orientation, religion, economic status, age, cultural group, or any other group
CITATION DATA COLLECTION AND REPORTING
- For each traffic stop in which a citation is issued, and each arrest resulting from such stops, an MISD School District Peace Officer conducting the stop shall collect information identifying the race, or ethnicity of the person detained. The officer shall also state whether a search was conducted during the stop, and if so, whether the person detained consented to the search and if an arrest
- Each year the Chief of Police shall submit a report to the School Board of
Trustees containing the traffic stop information compiled during the previous calendar year.
The report shall include:
- A breakdown of citations by race or ethnicity;
- Number of citations that resulted in a search;
- Number of searches that were consensual; and
- Number of citations that resulted in custodial arrest for the cited violation or any other violation.
3. The report shall not include any information identifying the School District Peace Officer that has made a traffic stop, or any other information about an individual who has been stopped or arrested.
USE OF VIDEO AND AUDIO EQUIPMENT
BODY CAMERA POLICY
- Each MISD School District Peace Officer shall wear their Body-Worn Camera in a manner which captures a full view of the persons they come into contact with each day. Officers are required to turn on their camera prior to approaching a violator’s vehicle if making a traffic stop.
- Within the school setting, officers shall activate their cameras when interacting with students under circumstances where official law enforcement action may be required to be taken.
- Officers shall activate their body worn cameras Only for Law Enforcement Purposes, and under circumstances such as the following:
- Collection of evidence that may be used in the prosecution of criminal offenses.
- Recording contacts with students and other persons in connection with investigations where law enforcement actions may result.
- Foot Pursuits
- Execution of consent searches
- Response to calls involving mentally distressed persons; and
- Documentation of accidents or crime scenes,
- When taking statements from any person during an investigation
- Recording of K-9 Drug Dog activations
- Body worn cameras shall not be activated for routine recordings upon school campuses which do not serve a law enforcement purpose.
- All MISD School District Peace Officers shall receive appropriate training in the correct usage of body worn cameras prior to being outfitted with one for MISD field
- If a School District Peace Officer chooses not to activate their body worn camera during an interaction with a citizen due to the interaction not involving a law enforcement investigation, the reason for not recording shall be listed in their report or call notes for future
- Officers may choose to de-activate their cameras in consideration of the need for privacy under certain circumstances, or at certain locations. Temporary de- activation may be necessary in such circumstances as:
- Exchanging sensitive NCIC / TCIC or other data via the police
- Conducting conversations containing privileged information (i.e. communication with Attorneys, Physicians,)
- Other such circumstances where temporarily discontinuing a recording will not interfere with the law enforcement need to capture evidence of criminal behavior.
- In accordance with Texas Occupations Code 1701, when an officer makes the decision to discontinue recording or chooses not to record an incident at all, the officer must note in their call notes the reason the officer chose not to capture the recording. Justification based upon safety issues, unreasonableness, or impracticality must be based on whether or not a reasonable officer in the same situation would have made the same decision.
- A peace officer or other employee of a law enforcement agency commits a Class A misdemeanor offense if the officer or employee releases a recording created with a body worn camera without permission of the applicable law enforcement agency (i.e. Chief of Police). (Texas Occupations Code sec 659)
- All body worn camera recordings depicting evidence related to an administrative or criminal investigation of an officer’s conduct, may not be deleted, destroyed, or released to the public until all criminal matters have been finally adjudicated and all administrative investigations concluded.
- Recordings described under J above, may however be released by the Chief of Police if determined to further a legitimate law enforcement
- All MISD Police Department field supervisors, lieutenants, and other technical access employees shall be familiar with the provisions for storing, reproducing back-up footage, and maintenance of data security for body-worn camera footage captured in the
- All officers shall be required to test their body worn cameras prior to the beginning of their If it is determined to be malfunctioning, a supervisor shall be contacted in order to try and acquire a replacement.
- Body camera equipment which begins to malfunction during the shift, should be properly documented on the appropriate departmental form so that the malfunction can be corrected as soon as possible. The officer experiencing this shall make an attempt to obtain a replacement that same day if available by contacting their supervisor.
- Body camera footage that may be considered to be public information, can be requested to be viewed through public information request by contacting the MISD Chief of Police or MISD communications department. Access to such video will be subject to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines and restrictions when involving the activity of students within the district.
- All MISD School District Peace Officers who have been issued body worn cameras shall be required to carry them and activate them in the field as required by this
- Officers being required to make a statement regarding an incident they are involved in which has been recorded on body worn camera, shall be allowed to review the recording before giving their
- All School District Peace Officers who were issued body worn cameras and are actively participating at the scene of a law enforcement investigation, shall activate their cameras and keep them activated throughout the duration of the officer’s participation on scene.
- In accordance with Texas Occupations Code 655, body worn camera footage shall be maintained for a minimum period of 90 days.
- Such video is stored on the MISD district server only after officers go through the required camera docking procedure listed in section Y below to upload their video.
- Body worn camera footage which needs to be retained for longer than 90 days due to pending juvenile court proceedings, shall be archived by loading it onto a USB flash drive or a DVD to be stored in the police evidence files.
- It shall be the involved officer’s responsibility to notify their supervisor or lieutenant of body camera footage which may need to be archived past the regular 90-day period, however the supervisor reviewing the officers report shall be required to confirm if body worn camera video has been stored if necessary.
- Body camera footage recorded in the field is required to be randomly reviewed weekly by supervisors in accordance with a continuing internal review process. The review process is to ensure that rules and regulations are being adhered to, and that officers are professional in all interactions with citizens.
- All officers shall be required to make their Body Worn Cameras available to be collected by a supervisor or the Chief of Police upon being notified that video it has recorded will be needed as This shall be done within a timely manner, and before the end of the officer’s tour of duty in most circumstances.
- To ensure that recorded body camera video is uploaded daily as required to preserve potential evidence, all officers shall dock their cameras at their campus' docking station at the end of each shift if they have video that needs to be uploaded. Video can also be uploaded at the central office police sector docking station.
- Any person who believes that an MISD police officer has engaged in racial profiling or bias-based profiling towards them, may file a complaint with the Chief of Police
- No persons shall be discouraged, intimidated, or coerced into not filing a complaint, or be discriminated against because they have filed such a complaint.
- If departmental video or audio exists that is associated with a compliant of racial profiling or bias-based profiling, that video and audio shall be made available to the officer upon written request to the Chief of Police upon commencement of the investigation.
- Depending upon the findings of a complaint as well as the circumstances involved, corrective measures will be taken by the police department as disposition for any policy These measures may include training, counseling, policy review, and a range of disciplinary actions up to and including termination.
- Annually, the Chief of Police or designee will compile a statistical summary of all racial profiling and bias-based profiling complaints to include all dispositions.
- The statistical summary will be utilized in an annual administrative analysis of these complaints, which will take into account a review of agency policies and practices, as well as citizen complaints.
- All Supervisory and above ranks shall ensure that officers follow the policies and procedures outlined in this It is the responsibility of these ranks to monitor the activities of their personnel, and to identify potential racial profiling or bias-based policing activity.
- An on-duty supervisor shall respond as soon as possible to the scene of an incident when advised that a person is making a complaint alleging profiling or other improper conduct by an MISD officer or other police department employee.
- Field supervisors shall be apprised of racial profiling or bias based profiling complaints involving personnel they supervise.
- Supervisors shall be particularly alert to potential patterns and practices of their personnel that may indicate racial, or bias-based profiling related issues in accordance with Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) guidelines.
- Field Sergeants and Lieutenants shall monitor all officers uniform equipment daily to ensure their body worn cameras are affixed to the uniform in an acceptable manner.
- Sergeants and Lieutenants shall monitor to ensure all officers are in compliance with the policy requiring timely uploading of body worn camera evidence.
- As a measure to ensure regular supervisory review of the body worn camera evidence collection process, the field Lieutenant shall randomly review body worn camera footage weekly according to a continuing internal review process.
- The body worn camera footage review process shall be documented with appropriate corrective steps being taken for violations of policy determined during
All MISD police department personnel working with students and citizens shall receive training on racial profiling and bias based profiling in accordance with TCOLE guidelines. Updated copies of the Racial Profiling and Use of Video and Audio Equipment (body- worn camera) policies shall also be distributed to all personnel to ensure their awareness of these revisions which bring these policies into compliance with Texas Occupations Code 1701.655 (Body Worn Camera), and Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 2.132 (Racial Profiling) statutes.
The Midland Independent School District Police Department will inform the public on its policy against racial profiling and bias based profiling, as well as the complaint process in place to address these concerns. Methods that may be utilized for this purpose are through the news media, radio, school safety and security committee meetings, internet, as well as governing board meetings. In addition, information will be made available as appropriate, in languages other than English.