Take action to end racial profiling

born-suspectA new report by the NAACP describes the racial profiling policy landscape in the United States.  20 states, including Delaware, do not have laws that specifically prohibit racial profiling.

The End Racial Profiling Act has now been introduced in the US Senate by Senator Cardin (MD) (S. 1038) and in the US House of Representatives by Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (MI) (H.R. 2851). The End Racial Profiling Act comprehensively addresses the insidious practice of racial profiling by law enforcement on five levels: first, it clearly defines the racially discriminatory practice of racial profiling by law enforcement at all levels; second, it creates a federal prohibition against racial profiling; thirdly, it mandates data collection so we can fully assess the true extent of the problem; fourth, it provides funding for the retraining of law enforcement officials on how to discontinue and prevent the use of racial profiling; and fifth, it holds law enforcement agencies that continue to use racial profiling accountable. We need to urge Members of both the House and Senate to co-sponsor and help move the bill through to passage as soon as possible.

THE ACTION WE NEED YOU TO TAKE:

Contact your US Senators and Member of the House of Representatives and ask them to co-sponsor S. 1038 /H.R. 2581, the END RACIAL PROFILING ACT.  Talking points and a sample letter are below.

Sen. Tom Carper
  • Wilmington: (302) 573-6291
  • Washington:  (202) 224-2441
  • Contact Page
Sen. Chris Coons
  • Wilmington: (302) 573-6345
  • Washington: (202) 224-5042
  • Contact Page
Rep. John Carney
  • Wilmington:  (302) 691-7333
  • Washington:  (202) 225-4165
  • Contact Page
Talking Points:
  • We need this important legislation that takes concrete steps to put an end to the insidious practice of racial profiling by law enforcement at all levels.
  • As painfully demonstrated over the past months, racial profiling is a serious problem in the United States, and can lead to deadly consequences.
  • It is difficult for our faith in the American judicial system not to be challenged when we cannot walk down the street, drive down an interstate, go through an airport, or even enter into our own homes without being stopped merely because of the color of our skin.
  • The End Racial Profiling Act not only clearly defines this insidious practice but it also prohibits racial profiling and collects data to fully assess the extent of the problem. It also provides training and other incentives for state and local governments to actively pursue politics to eliminate it and the legislation punishes those in law enforcement who continue to use it.

Sample Letter:

[Date]

The Honorable _____________________________

United States Senate/House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20510/20515

RE: SUPPORT FOR H.R. 2581 /S. 1038, THE “END RACIAL PROFILING ACT”

Dear Senator /Representative ______________________________________,

As your constituent, I am writing to urge you to support and be a co-sponsor of H.R. 2581 /S. 1038, the End Racial Profiling Act.

This important legislation takes concrete steps to put an end to the insidious practice of racial profiling at the federal, state, and local levels.

As painfully demonstrated over the past months, racial profiling is a serious problem in the United States, and can lead to deadly consequences. It is difficult for our faith in the American judicial system to not be challenged when we cannot walk down the street, drive down an interstate, go through an airport, or even enter into our own homes without being stopped merely because of the color of our skin. Training law enforcement officers how to more efficiently carry out essential policing without using this counterproductive procedure will not only help our nation’s criminal justice system at levels, but will trickle down to other groups as well, such as neighborhood watch organizations and citizens’ community groups which often model themselves after their local police and which have taken on additional responsibilities in light of the budget cuts being faced by almost every local jurisdiction.

The majority of law enforcement officers are hard working men and women, whose concern for the safety of those they are charged with protecting is often paramount, even when their own safety is on the line. However, if and when even one of their colleagues engages in racial profiling, whether it be conscious or subconscious, the trust of the entire community can be, and will be, lost. Law enforcement agents should not endorse or act upon stereotypes, attitudes, or beliefs that person’s race, ethnicity, appearance, religious affiliation, or national origin increases that person’s general propensity to act unlawfully.

As I said earlier, I hope that you will be a co-sponsor and support ERPA and that you will help address the very serious problem of racial profiling. Please let me know what you intend to do, and what I can do to help you in this fight. Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

(Sign and print your name and remember to include your address)

 

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *