MARIN (KCBS) — The Marin County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday formally adopted a dress code policy targeting gang members at the upcoming County Fair. But some are concerned the policy could lead to racial profiling.
The dress-code policy won unanimous approval. Supervisors said gang members are allowed at the fair, as long as they are not wearing gang colors or other insignia. The fair runs from July 3rd through July 7th.
Clothes, symbols or tattoos associated with criminal street gangs in the Bay Area could lead to a person’s removal from the festivities.
Undersheriff Mike Ridgway told county supervisors there will be a trained gang expert at the entrance with a list of criminal street gangs.
Ridgway referred to “the white-supremacist gang, an outlaw-motorcycle gang” as well as the Nortenos and Surenos. He also made reference to “Asian gangs,” but wasn’t more specific.
Bob Harmin, the former chair of the ACLU’s Marin County Chapter, said the ordinance will likely target people of color.
“I don’t know how else you could enforce this, except through a pattern of racial profiling. This is not about the color of the fabrics or the insignia. It’s about the color of one’s skin,” Harmon argued.
County Supervisor Steve Kinsey admitted that racial profiling is a “legitimate concern.”
His colleague Supervisor Susan Adams said this is more about inclusion than exclusion. “Whichever gang members are out there, come to our fair. Leave your insignias at home and enjoy it with everybody else in the public,” Adams challenged.
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