Washington holds racial profiling hearing
What is means for Arizona … and the rest of us
The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties recently held a hearing entitled “Racial Profiling and the Use of Suspect Classification in Law Enforcement Policy.”
The purpose of the hearing was to give different civil rights organizations and members of law enforcement the opportunity to express their concern about the role that race and ethnicity plays, when determining a suspect’s guilt. The hearing also discussed reintroducing the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA) by the House and Senate. ERPA has been introduced three times previously but has never passed.
If approved this time, it would essentially undo Arizona’s SB1070 in that it will prevent any local, state, or federal law enforcement agency from engaging in racial profiling, and making it a condition that they must show efforts to decrease racial profiling to receive federal funding.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has already filed a lawsuit against the new Arizona law on the basis that it will inevitably rely on the biases of its officers to determine who is asked for proof of citizenship.
Jennifer Bellamy of the ACLU legislative counsel stated that “despite condemnation of racial profiling by leaders from across the political spectrum, including the president and the attorney general, attempts to pass a comprehensive federal ban have not moved forward. Racial profiling has undermined the respect and trust between law enforcement and communities of color, which is essential to successful police work. Race, ethnicity, and religion are not and should not be grounds for criminal suspicion. Congress should move quickly to reintroduce and pass the End Racial Profiling Act.”
Laura Murphy, director of the ACLU, and Salt Lake City Chief of Police Chris Burbank both made statements that Arizona’s new law is a waste of law enforcement resources and diminishes trust between law enforcement and Latinos.
More than 1,500 people—mostly students and community residents—attended a forum on the USC campus Tuesday night to voice concern about recent actions by law enforcement officials where African Americans feel they were racially profiled.
The forum followed a sit-in at the Tommy Trojan statue Monday by USC students upset about how police shut down two parties early Sunday, and arrested six students.
Rodney Glen King’s apparent accidental death at age 47 has prompted a flood of media punditry about the legacy of a life rife with misfortune. It was young Glen, as he was called, who had discovered his father’s body in the family bathtub. Rodney Sr. reportedly drank himself to death when Rodney Jr. was in high school.
NEW YORK, N.Y.—On Father’s Day, June 17th, the NAACP and a diverse group of civil rights activists, civil liberty advocates and outraged community members will march silently down the streets of New York City to protest stop-and-frisk policing. Under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s policy, hundreds of thousands of innocent people are stopped, interrogated and humiliated by the NYPD each year simply for walking down the street, the groups says, charging that the police employ racial profiling on a daily basis, and the large majority of those stopped are Black or Latino.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Claims of racial profiling and unlawful search and seizure are outlined in a federal lawsuit filed against Glendale and Los Angeles officials for what a civil rights group describes as a “roundup” of Latino high school students who were questioned during their lunch period.
“LAPD presently engages in no systematic, proactive effort to identify whether biased policing is a problem or to identify and correct the behavior of individual officers who show significant racial disparities in their stops and post-stop actions.” —Jessica Price, on behalf of the ACLU of Southern California