NAACP Strongly Supports “End Racial Profiling Act of 2011”

(Washington, DC) – The NAACP has released the following statement on the End Racial Profiling Act of 2011, which comprehensively addresses the insidious practice of racial profiling by law enforcement. 

“In light of the overwhelming evidence that racial profiling continues to be employed today, the NAACP strongly urges Congress to pass the End Racial Profiling Act as soon as possible,” stated Hilary O. Shelton, Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau and Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Policy. “Even today, people of color cannot drive down the interstate without being stopped because of the color of their skin. Racial profiling is unconstitutional, socially corrupting and counter-productive to smart and effective law enforcement. This bill will help begin to restore confidence in law enforcement officials on the federal, state and local levels.”

The act seeks to curb racial profiling by law enforcement on a number of levels. If signed into law, it would clearly define the practice of racial profiling; create a federal prohibition against the practice; mandate data collection to fully assess the true extent of the problem; provide funding to retrain law enforcement officials on how to prevent racial profiling; and enact mechanisms to hold law enforcement agencies accountable.

Numerous studies over the past few years have provided evidence that law enforcement agents at all levels have consistently used race, ethnicity or other physical characteristics when choosing which individuals should be stopped and searched. 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 law enforcement.

The End Racial Profiling Act was introduced as H.R. 3618 on Thursday, December 8 by Congressman John Conyers (MI) and 37 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives. H.R. 3618 is the companion bill to S. 1670, which was introduced in the Senate by Senator Ben Cardin (MD) in October 2011 and has 11 co-sponsors. The bill is supported by numerous civil rights organizations as well as several minority law enforcement associations.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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