University Heights looks to Ban Racial Profiling

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- A proposal to ban racial profiling is up for discussion in University Heights. The legislation apparently ties back to the firing of University Heights Police Chief Kris Lyon in March but is not connected to his conduct.

City Council member Silivia Quezada proposed the ordinance barring police from racial profiling. She says it came about in part because of a city investigation into allegations against Lyon. But the city has refused to release that investigation, say what prompted it, or publish its findings.

Quezada claims the information in that investigation, which relates to the proposed ordinance, is not connected to the former police chief's conduct, just police department operations.

The ordinance itself calls for police officers to undergo racial bias training. It also would require police publish monthly data on traffic stops by race and set up a citizens review board, similar to one in place in Iowa City. Quezada says the ordinance is needed because, in her words, "the City has been a revolving door for police staff, creating an unstable situation."

The city council will discuss the ordinance Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.

I9 has filed a complaint with Iowa Public Information Board to force University Heights to release its investigation into Kris Lyon. The board is expected to take up our complaint at its next meeting later this month.