NAACP Strongly Supported End Racial Profiling Act Introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives

LEGISLATION JOINS SENATE COMPANION BILL IN CREATING A NATIONAL PROHIBITION AGAINST RACIAL PROFILING BY LAW ENFORCEMENT; IS   INTRODUCED AFTER A REVEALING HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HEARING

On Thursday December 8, 2011, Congressman John Conyers (MI) introduced H.R. 3618 the NAACP strongly supported “End Racial Profiling Act of 2011”.  H.R. 3618 is the companion bill to S. 1670, which was introduced by Senator Ben Cardin (MD) in October 2011.  The End Racial Profiling Act comprehensively addresses the insidious practice of racial profiling by law enforcement on five levels:  first, it clearly defines the racially discriminatory practice of racial profiling by law enforcement at all levels; second, it creates a federal prohibition against racial profiling; thirdly, it mandates data collection so we can fully assess the true extent of the problem; fourth, it provides funding for the retraining of law enforcement officials on how to discontinue and prevent the use of racial profiling; and fifth, it holds law enforcement agencies that continue to use racial profiling accountable.  The House version was introduced by Representative John Conyers and 37 other Members of the House of Representatives on December 8, 2011. We need to urge Members of both the House and Senate to co-sponsor and help move the bill through to passage as soon as possible. 

Numerous studies over the past few years have provided us with evidence to support what we have known for decades:  law enforcement agents at all levels have consistently used race, ethnicity and national origin when choosing which individuals should be stopped and searched.  At the most basic level, it is difficult for our faith in the American judicial system not to be challenged when we cannot even drive down an interstate without being stopped merely because of the color of our skin.  Furthermore, evidence clearly demonstrates that racial profiling is not an effective means of law enforcement and in many cases only adds to the distrust of local police.

We need H.R. 3618 / S.1670, the End Racial Profiling Act to stop this insidious practice and to help begin to restore the confidence of communities of color throughout the United States in federal, state and local law enforcement and thus restore the necessary trust and integrity necessary to be effective.  It is supported by numerous civil rights and civil liberties organizations, as well religious associations and most police unions of color.

In light of the overwhelming evidence that racial profiling continues to be employed today, the NAACP is strongly urging Congress to pass this legislation, the End Racial Profiling Act, as soon as possible.

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