News: Press Releases

(WASHINGTON) – Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) joined civil rights groups in calling for passage of their legislation, the End Racial Profiling Act. This legislation is designed to protect minority communities by prohibiting the use of racial profiling by law enforcement officials. The End Racial Profiling Act is supported by 136 national organizations including the NAACP, Rights Working Group, the ACLU, Blacks in Law Enforcement in America and the Sikh Coalition. Following his participation in a press conference announcing the introduction of this legislation, Rep. Conyers issued the following statement:

“Recent events demonstrate that racial profiling remains a divisive issue that strikes at the very foundation of our democracy. Though the death of Trayvon Martin was not the result of a law enforcement encounter, the issues of race and reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct are so closely linked in the minds of the public that his death cannot be separated from the law enforcement profiling debate. Ultimately, Trayvon is one of too many individuals across the country who have been victimized by a perception of criminality simply because of their race, ethnicity, religion or national origin. These individuals are denied the basic respect and equal treatment that is the right of every American,” said Conyers.

“To address this issue of racial profiling and criminal suspicion, I am pleased to introduce the End Racial Profiling Act of 2013, along with my longtime colleague Senator Cardin, to continue federal efforts at supporting good policing. This legislation represents a comprehensive federal commitment to healing the rift caused by racial profiling and restoring public confidence in the criminal justice system at-large. This legislation is designed to enforce the constitutional right to equal protection of the laws by changing the policies and procedures underlying the practice of profiling.

“Decades ago, in the face of shocking violence, the passage of sweeping civil rights legislation made it clear that race should not affect the treatment of an individual American under the law. I believe that thousands of pedestrian and traffic stops of innocent minorities and the killing of innocent teen calls for a similar federal response. The practice of using race as a criterion in law enforcement undermines the progress we have made toward racial equality. For these reasons, I will work with my colleagues in Congress to make the End Racial Profiling Act a reality.”