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Cardin Bill Would End The Use Of Racial Profiling By Law Enforcement

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) has introduced his bill to prohibit the use of racial profiling by law enforcement. Cosponsors of the End Racial Profiling Act, include Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Carl Levin (D-MI), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). It also has been endorsed by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Rights Working Group, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and 136 other national, state, and local civil and legal rights organizations.

"As a matter of practice, racial profiling just doesn't work. The more resources spent investigating individuals because of their race, religion, national origin, or ethnicity, the fewer resources directed at suspects who are actually demonstrating illegal behavior. Racial profiling is bad policy and given the precarious state of our budgets, it also diverts scarce resources from real law enforcement," said Senator Cardin. "The vast majority of law enforcement officials, who put their lives on the line every day, work with professionalism, diligence, and fidelity to the rule of law. However, Congress and the Justice Department can and should still take steps to prohibit racial profiling and finally root out its use. Racial profiling has no place in modern law enforcement."

"Racial profiling undermines the rule of law and strikes at the core of our nation's commitment to equal protection for all," said Senator Durbin, Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights. "I am proud to join Senator Cardin in introducing legislation that will help put an end to this ineffective and discriminatory practice."

"Racial profiling is not and never will be an effective form of law enforcement. When law enforcement relies on bias over evidence to protect us against crime and terror, it turns American justice on its head, subverts our Constitution, and ultimately makes us all less safe. We commend Senator Cardin for his leadership on this issue and will stand with him to advance equality under the law for all individuals living in the United States," Wade Henderson, President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights said.

Racial profiling is defined in a standard, consistent definition as the practice of a law enforcement agent relying on race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin as a factor in their investigations and activities. The legislation creates an exception for the use of these factors where there is trustworthy information, relevant to the locality and time frame, which links persons of a particular race, ethnicity, or national origin to an identified incident or scheme.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on "Ending Racial Profiling in America" in April 2012, in which Senator Cardin testified about his legislation.

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