BLACK VOICES
12/03/2014 12:42 pm ET Updated Dec 03, 2014

How Much Can Federal Guidelines On Racial Profiling Change Law Enforcement?

President Obama delivered on Tuesday what many hailed as progress in a post-Ferguson world: Funding for 50,000 body cameras that policemen will be forced to wear when performing their daily duties. While a small step, most agreed it was a good one.

Obama has made a few more steps in the recent past to repair community relations, but the question remains: How much will these new guidelines actually curb racial profiling?

"It's discussed very little, and very little attention is given to it," Chris Rosbough, a former Tampa police officer, said in a HuffPost Live interview Tuesday. "When police officers are patrolling, they go to one area more often than not, and they go to the areas that are heavily populated by Latin Americans and African Americans because they know those areas will have the higher crime rate."

Chris Gebhardt, a former police lieutenant in Salt Lake City, Utah, said in the same conversation that while that doesn't exist, profiling from the police is a bit more complicated than just along racial lines.

"This isn't a black-on-white or a white-on-black issue, as people are making it out to be," Gebhardt said. "The racial discrimination that exists in law enforcement, if you talk to an officer, is 'Oh, we're all blue,' or 'We're all green,' or 'We're all brown.' Based on the color of their uniform. So you really got to look at it as blue-on-white or blue-on-black."

For all the problems that will likely still exist, this is still an important first step, according to ACLU Racial Justice Program Director Dennis Parker.

'I am hopeful that this is not the end of things that are being announced now of what the efforts will be," Parker told host Alyona Minkovski. "And the truth is, this is a bigger step than what we've had. And it's an important first step, even if it's obviously not sufficient."

Watch the rest of the clip above, and catch the full HuffPost Live conversation here.

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