The Justice Department wants to prevent federal law enforcement from using race, nationality, or gender in investigations.
A draft of new anti-discrimination guidelines would prevent FBI agents and officers from using these demographics and other protected classes.
Investigations, data collection, and watch listing will all be subject the new guidelines. They would also be banned even when it might otherwise be lawful.
For example, it’s not enough for an assault victim to describe her assailant as a certain race. She must provide a suspect-specific detail along with it, such as a birthmark on the face.
While agents can consider information relevant to the geographic locality and time frame, they are barred from examining community statistics when investigating. The DOJ says this is often biased and leads to discrimination.
Current and historical patterns of discriminatory law enforcement have led to higher rates of arrest in certain communities, particularly African American communities.