Jonesboro to Host Hearing on Racial Profiling

MARCH 9, 2004 - Posted at 7:12 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas' first Racial Profiling Task Force plans public hearings in Jonesboro and at least five other cities across the state in its effort to gather data on the practice.

At its first meeting yesterday, the task force agreed to hold hearings in Jonesboro, Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Helena, Rogers and Hope.  The group hopes to collect impressions from residents across Arkansas.

The panel and study were mandated by an anti-racial profiling measure passed last April.  The group will make recommendations to Governor Huckabee and the Legislature by November 1.

Senator Henry Wilkins, who spearheaded the bill, gave the group encouragement along with the first testimony.  He said two years ago, his son, a Harvard University student, was legally parked and waiting for friends in downtown Little Rock.  Two police officers told him to move.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)