And because membership of a judge in an organization

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And because membership of a judge in an organization that practices invidious discrimination gives rise to perceptions that the judge's impartiality is impaired, a judge “shall not hold membership in any organization that practices invidious discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, or national origin.” But the most direct expression of the importance of ensuring that citizens perceive law enforcement to be free of discrimination is Nebraska’s racial profiling act. The act explains, “Racial profiling is a practice that presents a great danger to the fundamental principles of a democratic society. It is abhorrent and cannot be tolerated.” The act prohibits police, expressly including a member of the State Patrol, from engaging in racial profiling and requires law enforcement agencies, including the State Patrol, to adopt a written policy prohibiting the practice. And it imposes requirements intended to measure and prevent the practice of racial profiling. The act is particularly pertinent because of the determination of public policy that led to its enactment. As the senator introducing the measure to the Legislature explained, “[t]he problem is that regardless of whether there is racial profiling in Nebraska or not, there is the perception of unfairness.” The executive director of the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission, testifying in support of the legislation, agreed that “we must admit that there is a perception, and I use the word perception loosely because actually, it's more than a perception, that some officers are engaging in racial profiling, and this has created resentment and distrust of the police, particularly in communities of color.” And the chairperson of the Judiciary Committee explained that “[t]he people of Nebraska greatly appreciate the hard work and dedication of law enforcement officers in protecting the public” and that “[t]he good name of these officers should not be tarnished by the actions of those few who commit discriminatory practices.” As the introducing senator explained, Nebraska has always been a diverse state with an immigrant background. Our heritage and disposition has been that of being inclusive and accepting [in] nature. This is one of the greatest traits of our state. That's why I believe it's
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Spring 2017 LER 590-E: GOVERNMENT REGULATION II 49 | P a g e important to present an open, fair law enforcement image for our state .... The problem that we have, regardless of whether there's racial profiling existing in Nebraska or not, [is that] we have the perception of unfairness. Because of that perception, many people who are stopped for a legitimate reason may think that they’re being stopped [or] targeted due to their race. We need to collect data to determine whether the racial profiling does exist in our state, and to remove the perception of unfairness that we have.
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