New Report Finds That Racial Profiling Is Pervasive
July 7, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
Rep. John Conyers, D. Mich., speaking at the June 2001 introduction of the End Racial Profiling Act. The bill has been introduced in previous Congresses, but hasn't passed. ERPA has not yet been introduced in this Congress.
A new report jointly authored by the Rights Working Group and the American Civil Liberties Union found that racial profiling by law enforcement agencies still persists on our nation's roadways, in airports, and near our border and urges Congress to pass the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA).
ERPA would prohibit all law enforcement agencies from racial profiling, require agencies to collect data on the number of stops, searches, and arrests by race and gender, and allow victims of racial profiling to sue local, state or federal authorities.
"The U.S. government must take urgent, direct action to rid the nation of the scourge of racial and ethnic profiling and bring this country into conformity with both the Constitution and international human rights obligations," said Chandra Bhatnagar, staff attorney with the ACLU Human Rights Program.
The report cited several studies in 22 states showing that African-American and Latino drivers are more than twice as likely to be stopped, searched, or arrested by law enforcement officers as White drivers. Racial and ethnic profiling has contributed to the overrepresentation of racial and ethnic minorities in the American criminal justice system, the report states.
The report also assessed federal programs, including Department of Homeland Security counterterrorism efforts, and found a rise in racial profiling of immigrants and foreign nationals from Muslim-majority countries.
The report was submitted last week to a human rights body at the U.N. that monitors compliance with International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.