Anniv. of racial profiling shooting

April 23, 2008 12:00:26 PM PDT
Ten years ago today -- state troopers fired into a van -- wounding three unarmed minority men who had stopped on the New Jersey turnpike. That shooting led to a federal investigation of racial profiling -- the controversial scandal in which police are believed to stop motorists solely because of their skin color.

Much has changed since the shooting, said the Rev. Reginald Jackson, who pushed for reforms as the director of the Black Ministers Council of New Jersey.

"It's unfortunate that the incident happened," Jackson said. "But out of that unfortunate incident, I think New Jersey took some concrete steps to address reforms with the State Police and to become the first state to pass legislation making racial profiling a crime. In fact, I think we've seen an increase in the confidence and the relationship between minorities and the State Police."

The shooting also led to a decade of federal oversight for the New Jersey state police. Oversight that has cost New Jersey more than $137 million.

The attorney general now says the federal oversight is expected to end this summer.