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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

Become An Original Cosponsor of the End Racial Profiling Act of 2013

Advocacy Letter - 07/26/13

Source: The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Recipient: U.S. House of Representatives


On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States, we urge you to be an original cosponsor the End Racial Profiling Act of 2013 (ERPA). It is essential to pass this bill and 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. It also results in a loss of trust and confidence in local, state, and federal law enforcement. 

The Trayvon Martin tragedy is a painful example of the continuation of profiling in America. The issues of race and reasonable suspicion are so closely linked in the public’s minds that they cannot be divorced from the law enforcement profiling debate. As President Obama expressed in his remarks last Friday, racial profiling legislation is “one area where … there are a lot of resources and best practices that could be brought to bear if state and local governments are receptive.” 

Your support for the End Racial Profiling Act of 2013 is critical to its passage. We urge you to be an original cosponsor of 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 an original cosponsor, please contact Keenan Keller, Counsel on the Committee on Judiciary at keenan.keller@mail.house.gov or (202) 225-2697. 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,

Wade Henderson, president and CEO

Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president

Our Members