Over the past few years black drivers complaining they were handcuffed and forced face down to the ground during illegal car searches have prompted several states to confront racial profiling.
But the Missouri Legislature has only just begun to confront the problem this year.
Laetitia Thompson has the story from the state capitol.
Matt LeMieux calls it DWB or Driving While Black.
LeMieux is Executive Director of the Eastern Missouri ACLU and claims his office has received hundreds of racial profiling complaints.
LeMieux testified in favor of a law requiring the police to record the age, race and gender of each driver they pull over and why to help identify and eliminate racial profiling in Missouri.
Blue Springs Representative Carson Ross sits on the committee that considered LeMieux's testimony.
Ross is the only black Republican in the legislature and one of the most outspoken critics of racial profiling.
Ross and other black legislators who testified before him in favor of the bill told personal stories of how police stopped them because of their race.
Each claimed only their legislative license plates protected them from further abuse.
Earlier in the year Missouri State Highway Patrol Superintendent Weldon Wilholt testified his department doesn't tolerate profiling of any sort.
Wilholt said the State Highway Patrol has already begun to collect statistics on race.
According to the ACLU's LeMieux racial profiling is in part defined by the fact a search is conducted but no charges are filed but Wilholt's data is based on arrests and not searches.
Plus LeMieux says he's received complaints against all levels of enforcement including the State Highway Patrol.
The only black male in the Missouri Senate echoes LeMieux's concerns.
St. Louis Senator Lacy Clay says the Highway Patrol can't claim a problem exists because there are no statistics available for proof.
But Clay admits the State Highway Patrol is not the problem.
The real problem Clay says are Missouri's local police departments.
Relatively few lawmakers have openly opposed creating laws aimed at eliminating racial profiling.
But southern Missouri Senator John Russell did publicly question potential police reaction to data collection.
Despite such concerns, Ross and his committee sent the racial profiling proposal to the House this week.
The bill is the first of three such laws to even reach the floor but has yet to be scheduled for debate.
Which means racial data collection has a slim chance of becoming law this year...a reality prompting LeMieux to urge minority drivers to be polite but firm.
And if you believe you're victim of racial profiling?
LeMieux says give the ACLU a call.
From Jefferson City, I'm Laetitia Thompson.