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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Cosponsor the End Racial Profiling Act of 2011 S. 1670

Advocacy Letter - 04/16/12

Source: The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Recipient: U.S. Senate


Dear Senator:

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and the undersigned organizations, we urge you to cosponsor the End Racial Profiling Act of 2011 (ERPA).  Passage of this bill is needed to put an end to racial profiling by law enforcement officials and to ensure that individuals are not prejudicially stopped, investigated, arrested, or detained based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion.  Policies primarily designed to impact certain groups are ineffective and often result in the destruction of civil liberties for everyone.

ERPA would establish a prohibition on racial profiling, enforceable by declaratory or injunctive relief. The legislation would mandate training for federal law enforcement officials on racial profiling issues.  As a condition of receiving federal funding, state, local, and Indian tribal law enforcement agencies would be required to collect data on both routine and spontaneous investigatory activities. The Department of Justice would be authorized to provide grants to state and local law enforcement agencies for the development and implementation of best policing practices, such as early warning systems, technology integration, and other management protocols that discourage profiling. Lastly, this important legislation would require the Attorney General to issue periodic reports to Congress assessing the nature of any ongoing racial profiling.

Racial profiling involves the unwarranted screening of certain groups of people, assumed by the police and other law enforcement agents to be predisposed to criminal behavior. Multiple studies have proven that racial profiling results in the misallocation of law enforcement resources and therefore a failure to identify actual crimes that are planned and committed. By relying on stereotypes rather than proven investigative procedures, the lives of innocent people are needlessly harmed by law enforcement agencies and officials. 

As is evident by recent events across the nation, racial profiling is a pervasive and harmful practice that negatively impacts both individuals and communities. Racial profiling results in a loss of trust and confidence in local, state, and federal law enforcement. Although most individuals are taught from an early age that the role of law enforcement is to fairly defend and guard communities from people who want to cause harm to others, this fundamental message is often contradicted when these same defenders are seen as unnecessarily and unjustifiably harassing innocent citizens. Criminal investigations are flawed and hindered because people and communities impacted by these stereotypes are less likely to cooperate with law enforcement agencies they have grown to mistrust. We can begin to reestablish trust in law enforcement if we act now.

Current federal law enforcement guidance and state laws provide incomplete solutions to the pervasive nationwide problem of racial profiling.

Your support for the End Racial Profiling Act of 2011 is critical to its passage. We urge you to cosponsor this vital legislation, which will ensure that federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies are prohibited from impermissibly considering race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion in carrying out law enforcement activities.  To become a cosponsor, please contact Bill Van Horne in Senator Cardin’s office at bill_vanhorne@cardin.senate.gov or (202) 224-4524. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Lexer Quamie at (202) 466-3648 or Nancy Zirkin at (202) 263-2880.  Thank you for your valued consideration of this critical legislation.

Sincerely,

National Organizations

A. Philip Randolph Institute

African American Ministers in Action

American Civil Liberties Union

American Humanist Association

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

American Probation and Parole Association

Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum

Asian American Justice Center

Asian Law Caucus

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance

Bill of Rights Defense Committee

Blacks in Law Enforcement in America

Break the Cycle

Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law

Campaign for Community Change

Campaign for Youth Justice

Center for National Security Studies

Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School

Council on American-Islamic Relations

Council on Illicit Drugs of the National Association for Public Health Policy

Disciples Justice Action Network

Drug Policy Alliance

Equal Justice Society

Fair Immigration Reform Movement

Fellowship of Reconciliation

Human Rights Watch

Indo-American Center

Institute Justice Team, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

Japanese American Citizens League

Jewish Labor Committee

Jewish Reconstructionist Federation

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

League of United Latin American Citizens

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

Muslim Advocates

Muslim Legal Fund of America

Muslim Public Affairs Council

NAACP

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

National African American Drug Policy Coalition, Inc.

National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery

National Alliance of Faith and Justice

National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

National Association of Social Workers

National Black Justice Coalition

National Black Law Students Association

National Black Police Association

National Congress of American Indians

National Council of La Raza

National Education Association

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund

National Korean American Service and Education Consortium

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

National Lawyers Guild Drug Policy Committee

National Legal Aid and Defender Association

National Organization of Black Women in Law Enforcement

National Organization of Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault

National Urban League Policy Institute

NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby

9to5, National Association of Working Women

Our Members