Forum in Jefferson City aims to end racial profiling

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JEFFERSON CITY - The central chapter of Empower Missouri and the Missouri chapter of the NAACP together are hosting a forum in the hopes that it will end racial profiling by police. 

Pam Rich, chair of the central chapter of Empower Missouri, said racial profiling is a major issue.

"Over the years we have discovered, and its been verified to the AG and through police reports that in Missouri, minority people are stopped at a much higher rate, 69 percent rate higher than Caucasians, and we’ve known this for some time," Rich said. 

Rich said a member of Empower Missouri also put together a vehicle stop report about racial profiling.

"Basically what this is about," Rich said. "It's a study that he’s been doing for many years, which has revealed in every entity, how people are stopped and why, which for the most part is for no reason."

The event will highlight two speakers, Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, (District 5-St. Louis), and Sara Baker, legislative and policy director for the ACLU of Missouri. 

Nasheed is also the sponsor of Senate Bill 287, which addresses policing practices.

Rich said that this bill is important for racial equality. 

"Now this bill has been filed, and it’s very important to Empower Missouri, it’s a priority, and as well ACLU is working on passage of this bill," Rich said. 

Nimrod Chapel Jr., president of the Missouri NAACP state conference, said this is an important event for working families in Missouri. 

"We will talk about ways to make sure working families stay safe, as well as have quality places to live," Chapel said. "It's also important to discuss criminal justice reform."

The forum will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. on the second floor conference room of the Empower Missouri building in Jefferson City. 

The forum is free and open to the public.