CARDIN JOINS THE BALTIMORE URBAN LEAGUE FOR
AN UPDATE ON EFFORTS TO END TO
RACIAL PROFILING BY LAW ENFORCEMENT
Baltimore – Just one day before the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Civil Rights, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin and the Baltimore Urban League brought together regional community and civil rights leaders to discuss the pressing issue of racial profiling and current efforts to end such discriminatory practices.
“What kind of message are we sending to our children when day after day –despite Constitutional guarantees to the contrary – Americans are being treated like criminals simply because of their race, ethnicity, or religion. Racial profiling defies America’s most fundamental promises, yet it occurs in communities all across the country. The reality is that racial profiling is simply wrong. It doesn’t work, it wastes valuable resources and diminishes the willingness of targeted communities from trusting and working with police when the need is real,” said Senator Cardin.
“We need a uniform definition of racial profiling so that law enforcement can concentrate on investigating real crimes and real leads, and men and women across the country can feel secure that they are not being pulled over or harassed by law enforcement solely based on their race, religion, national origin, or ethnicity. 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. But only a few states ban the use of racial profiling, and we need to bring a nationwide end this bad policy now,” Senator Cardin added.
“It is well with my soul, but all is not well in our beloved country. Fifty years after the March on Washington and 148 years post Emancipation Proclamation, racism in America remains problematic and for too many, fatal. I pray that one day soon racial profiling and all of the other vestiges of racism will disappear so that it is well with my country ... and my soul,” shared The Rev. Dr. William P. DeVeaux, Presiding Bishop Second Episcopal District African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Earlier this year, Senator Cardin reintroduced the End Racial Profiling Act (S. 1038), which has 16 cosponsors including Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Assistant Majority Leader/Judiciary Committee Member Dick Durbin (D-IL). He recently joined with Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), author of the House companion bill, and leading civil rights groups to urge their colleagues in the Senate and House to come together to pass this important legislation.
The End Racial Profiling Act is designed to enforce the constitutional right to equal protection of the laws by eliminating racial profiling through changing the policies and procedures underlying the practice. The bill would prohibit any law enforcement agent to utilize broad assumptions and stereotyping based on race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin as a factor in their investigations and activities. It would only allow the use of information related to race, ethnicity or national origin when there is trustworthy information on a specific suspect description, relevant to the locality and time frame that may be linked to an incident or scheme. It has been endorsed by the NAACP, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Rights Working Group, Blacks in Law Enforcement of America, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and 136 other national, state, and local civil and legal rights organizations.