Cosponsor the End Racial Profiling Act of 2011 H.R. 3618

Media 12.13,11

Recipient: U.S. House of Representatives

Dear Representative:

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.

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 Keenan Keller, Counsel on the Committee on Judiciary at [email protected] or (202) 225-6906. Thank you for your valued consideration of this critical legislation.

Sincerely, Adhikaar

African American Ministers in Action
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
American Civil Liberties Union
American Humanist Association
Arab American Action Network
Arab-American Family Support Center
Asian American Justice Center,
member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice
Asian Law Caucus
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Blacks in Law Enforcement in America
The Brennan Center for Justice
Casa Esperanza
Center for National Security Studies
Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Counselors Helping (South)Asians/Inc.
Disciples Justice Action Network
Drug Policy Alliance
DRUM – Desis Rising Up and Moving
Healing Communities Prison Ministry and Reentry Project
Human Rights Watch
Indo-American Center
Institute Justice Team, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
Japanese American Citizens League
Korean American Resource & Cultural Center
Korean Resource Center
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
Muslim Advocates
Muslim Legal Fund of America
Muslim Public Affairs Council
National African American Drug Policy Coalition, Inc.
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 Police Association
National Congress of American Indians
National Council of La Raza
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium
National Legal Aid and Defender Association
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Open Society Policy Center
Pax Christi USA
Rights for All People
Rights Working Group
Sahara of South Florida, Inc.
Sentencing Project
Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Sikh Coalition
Sneha, Inc.
South Asian Americans Leading Together
Union for Reform Judaism
United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
US Human Rights Network