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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

Press Release - The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

More Than 100 Organizations Call for Federal Action to Prevent Discriminatory Profiling

For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Simpson, 202.466.2061, simpson@civilrights.org
August 21, 2014

WASHINGTON – In the wake of ongoing tragedies in Ferguson, Missouri, The Leadership Conference and Civil and Human Rights and a coalition of more than 100 organizations have released the statement below calling for updated federal guidance and legislation to stop discriminatory law enforcement profiling that persists across the country:

“Last week’s shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the military-style response by the local police to demonstrators, and allegations of racially biased law enforcement are the result of longstanding and corrosive limitations on our nation’s law enforcement policies that allow unlawful profiling to persist across the country.

We applaud the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for opening an investigation into this shooting and its aftermath. But DOJ is hindered from taking comprehensive measures that can help prevent these tragedies from recurring because there is no federal mandate that state and local law enforcement stop the practice of profiling based on race, religion, ethnicity, and national origin.

The undersigned organizations are calling for federal solutions that will empower state and local law enforcement agencies to prevent these tragedies from happening again.

We ask that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder update the 2003 Guidance Regarding the Use of Race by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies (Guidance) without further delay. The Guidance affects millions of everyday Americans from a wide range of racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds and requires significant reforms to correct the huge gaps in protection and carve-outs for ineffective policing, including:

  • applying the Guidance to state and local law enforcement who work in partnership with the federal government or receive federal funding;
  • eliminating the exceptions for the border and national security;
  • covering surveillance activities;
  • prohibiting profiling based on religion, national origin, and sexual orientation and gender identity; and
  • making the Guidance enforceable.

We also call on Congress to finally pass the End Racial Profiling Act, which would prohibit the use of profiling on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin or religion by law enforcement agencies. The legislation also provides training and monitoring for law enforcement. By preventing law enforcement from disproportionately targeting ethnic minorities for investigation, interrogation and arrest, we can reduce the disparities that plague our nation’s criminal justice system.

The changes we are recommending have been under consideration for more than ten years. It’s imperative that we take steps now at the national and local levels to cultivate an environment of greater trust between law enforcement and communities of color.

The Department of Justice and local law enforcement agencies need the tools to respond to this urgent and ongoing threat to our constitutional rights and to effective law enforcement.  We are asking Congress and the Attorney General to prevent tragedies like those unfolding in Ferguson from happening again.”

Signed,

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
9to5
Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus
African American Ministers In Action
African American Ministers Leadership Council
American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity
American Civil Liberties Union
American Federation of Teachers
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
Amnesty International USA
Arab American Institute
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
Best Practices Policy Project
Boat People SOS
Campaign for Youth Justice
Center for Asian American Media
Center for Community Change
Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Demos
Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund
Equality Federation
FedCURE
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Hmong National Development
Human Rights Campaign
Lambda Legal
LatinoJustice PRLDEF
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
League of United Latin American Citizens
Legal Action Center
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
Muslim Advocates
NAACP
NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc.
National Action Network
National African American Drug Policy Coalition, Inc.
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)
National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum
National Association of Social Workers
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of La Raza
National Council on Independent Living
National Employment Law Project
National Fair Housing Alliance
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund
National Guestworker Alliance
National Immigration Law Center
National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National Network for Arab American Communities
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
National Urban League
Natural Resources Defense Council
NCLR Action Fund
OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates
People for the American Way
PFLAG National
PolicyLink
Prison Policy Initiative
Rainbow PUSH Coalition
Rights Working Group
Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
Streetwise and Safe (SAS)
The Center for APA Women
The Equity Project
The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
The Sikh Coalition
UNITED SIKHS
USAction
YWCA USA

State/local organizations
BreakOUT!
Community Service Society of New York
Counselors Helping (South) Asians/Indians,Inc.
Delaware Transformative Justice
DRUM - South Asian Organizing Center
Georgia Coalition for the People's Agenda
Jesuit Social Research Institute
KhushDC
Korean American Resource and Cultural Center
Korean Resource Center
Mai Family Services
Manavi, Inc.
Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Nebraska Appleseed
New Orleans’ Congress of Day Laborers
New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice
PICO California
Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN)
South Asian American Policy & Research Institute (SAAPRI)
South Asian American Voices For Impact
South Asian Network
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Lowcountry
West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project
Women In Islam, Inc.

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