Advisory: Racial Profiling Victims to Join Members of Congress to Call for Federal Action on Banning Racial Profiling
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, April 17, 2012 victims of racial profiling will be joined by members of Congress and national advocates at a press conference urging the Senate to pass the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA). The press conference, which will take place in a Senate office building, immediately follows a Senate hearing on the bill, the first hearing of its kind since 9/11.
The Trayvon Martin case, along with recently passed state anti-immigrant laws and increased surveillance of Muslim and South Asian communities, has reignited the charge to prohibit racial profiling in America. Not only is the practice ineffective, it allows law enforcement to rely on stereotypes when making critical decisions about individuals’ freedoms.
Speakers will advocate for the passage of the End Racial Profiling Act and for reform of the Department of Justice Guidance Regarding the Use of Race by Federal Law Enforcement agencies to eliminate loopholes for national security, border security while prohibiting profiling based on national origin and religion. The following day, a number of press conference speakers will meet with congressional representatives, senators and their staffs about the need for federal action to ban racial profiling.
What: Press conference featuring victims of racial profiling immediately following the Senate hearing on racial profiling and the End Racial Profiling Act.
- Sen. Dick Durbin, (D-Illinois) Chairman of Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, a co-sponsor of ERPA who spearheaded a dear colleague letter effort to revise the U.S. Department of Justice’s racial profiling guidance.
- Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), Senate sponsor of the End Racial Profiling Act.
- Margaret Huang, Executive Director, Rights Working Group
- Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee and House sponsor of the End Racial Profiling Act will discuss the need for this legislation.
- Bonita Rhodes-Berg, an African-American mother and grandmother who settled a civil rights lawsuit involving the Drug Enforcement Administration after she was racially profiled.
- Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota), House cosponsor of the End Racial Profiling Act.
- Tiburcio Briceno, a U.S. citizen of Mexican origin who was stopped by Michigan State Police for an alleged traffic violation and handcuffed to await the arrival of Customs Border Patrol despite his protests that he was a citizen.
- Rep. Judy Chu (D-California), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucusand House cosponsor of End Racial Profiling Act.
- Elizabeth Dann, a third-year law student at New York University recently learned that the New York Police Department had placed the Muslim Student Association she belongs to, like others in the Northeast, under surveillance based on the students’ religious beliefs.
- Anthony Romero, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union.
- Hilary O. Shelton, NAACP Washington Bureau Director and Senior Vice President for Advocacy.
- Kevin Lavine, a retired police officer and criminal justice professor.
When: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 (Approx 11:45 a.m. Begins immediately after hearing.)
Where: Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 226.