Des Moines council urged to adopt ban on racial profiling

The Des Moines City Council has been urged to adopt a ban on racial profiling by police.

Creation of a civilian review board was among the proposals aired at the council meeting Monday night. The proposals include bans on what were described as “pretextual stops”: traffic stops in which police use minor traffic violations as excuses to pull over people officers find suspicious because of their race or sex.

The council also was urged to make marijuana possession Des Moines’ lowest police enforcement priority because, the activists said, it unfairly targets minorities.

The council voted to instruct City Manager Scott Sanders to research and report on each of the proposals.

Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert disagreed that the city needs a civilian review board. He says that’s something for cities with major problems within their police departments.

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