N.J.S.A. Section 2C:30-5 – Findings, Declarations Relative to Deprivation of Civil Rights by Public Officials

Section 2C:30-5 – Findings, Declarations Relative to Deprivation of Civil Rights by Public Officials

1.The Legislature finds and declares that:

a.Public confidence in the institutions of government is undermined when an official engages in any form of misconduct involving the official’s office.

b.Such misconduct, and the corresponding damage to the public confidence, impairs the ability of government to function properly, fosters mistrust and engenders disrespect for government and public servants.

c.A particular concern arises when a law enforcement official, duly entrusted to protect the public safety and impartially enforce the laws, abuses that trust by unlawfully depriving persons of their civil rights, especially in the context of racial profiling.

d.It is important to ensure that law enforcement officers are prohibited from using racial characteristics or color, either alone or in conjunction with other composite characteristics such as a generalized vehicle description or the age of the driver or passengers, as the basis for initiating an investigative stop.

e.Existing laws must be amended to provide a greater deterrent to this type of conduct, as well as to enhance other provisions of the law targeting official misconduct.

f.Accordingly, it is in the public interest to strengthen our laws that define and punish acts of official misconduct by members of law enforcement and other public servants.

L.2003,c.31,s.1.

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