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Police Profiling Ban Expanded to Cover Gender Identity, National Origin

By Ted Cox | January 15, 2015 12:19pm | Updated on January 15, 2015 12:40pm
 Aldermen moved to expand the ban on police profiling to gender identity Thursday.
Aldermen moved to expand the ban on police profiling to gender identity Thursday.
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DNAinfo/Erin Meyer

CITY HALL — A City Council joint committee moved Thursday to expand the ban on police profiling to cover gender identity and national origin.

The Finance and Human Relations committees unanimously approved the new ban on police profiling to include "gender identity" and "national origin" Thursday and sent it to the full City Council for approval next week.

Ald. Edward Burke (14th), chairman of the Finance Committee, said it was adopted in the wake of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder proposing the expanded definition in a  Justice Department policy statement in December.

"I think Chicago will be the first major city to add the categories that Attorney General Holder recommended," Burke said.

He added that he did not consider profiling "widespread" in the Chicago Police Department, but he said it was good to remind officers of what's expected and to reassure the public that there was no bias in law enforcement.

Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) said the Police Department already had made advances in showing "respect for a person's identity" and generally cheered police on the issue.

Deputy Police Commissioner Eddie Johnson said officers are being trained on the issue and are being instructed to let a people self-identify their gender.

Johnson testified that police use "contact cards" to keep track of interactions with citizens, and those were monitored daily to guard against police profiling.

The city already bans racial profiling. It's expanded the ban to include profiling by ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, marital status, parental status, military discharge status, financial status and lawful source of income.

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