NAACP-Supported End Racial Profiling Act Introduced in the U.S. Senate

LEGISLATION WILL CREATE A NATIONAL PROHIBITION AGAINST RACIAL PROFILING BY LAW ENFORCEMENT

On Thursday October 6, 2011, Senator Ben Cardin (MD) introduced S.1670, the NAACP-supported “End Racial Profiling Act of 2011”.  The End Racial Profiling Act attacks the insidious practice of racial profiling by law enforcement on four levels:  first, it creates a federal prohibition against racial profiling; second, it mandates data collection so we can fully assess the true extent of the problem; thirdly, it provides funding for the retraining of law enforcement officials on how to discontinue and prevent the use of racial profiling; and fourth, it holds law enforcement agencies that continue to use racial profiling accountable.  We expect the House version to be introduced by Representative John Conyers in early November. We need to get as many co-sponsors of both the House and Senate bills 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 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.  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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