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Discrimination in Any Form is Wrong: Face the Truth Week Sponsored by Asian American Justice Group

From: Asian American Justice Center [mailto:lcampbell@advancingequality.org]
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 8:03 AM
To: Schrader, Crystal [ICRC]
Subject: ERPA Action Alert for week of action

It is time to tell your member of congress that discrimination in any form is wrong. As part of the “Face the Truth” week of action, community members are raising their voices to say that not only are racial, religious and ethnic profiling inappropriate, but profiling is also bad policy and bad policing.

On Sept. 30th Rights Working Group is bringing your voices to Washington, D.C. with the release of “FACES OF RACIAL PROFILING: A Report from Communities Across America.” On the one-year anniversary of the campaign, we are going back to Congress to echo the testimony from the field hearings on the degrading and humiliating effects of racial profiling. Together we can pass this legislation.

Let your congressional representative know that you want them to act now, and to cosponsor the End Racial Profiling Act of 2010.

Problem

Racial profiling affects people wherever they go-their homes and cars, the sidewalk, the airport, work, church and at the border.

Racial profiling is ineffective. Multiple studies have shown that when police focus on race they pay less attention to criminal behavior, reducing the “hit rate” in detecting contraband or uncovering crimes. Racial profiling alienates victims from their communities and causes them to lose trust and confidence in the people and institutions sworn to protect us. They are less likely to cooperate with criminal investigations or seek police protection when needed. This makes all of us less safe.

Solution

The End Racial Profiling Act was first introduced 2001 with strong bipartisan support. Unfortunately Sept. 11 slowed the bill’s momentum. In the nine years since, the practice of racial profiling expanded and continues to alienate and plague our communities. The End Racial Profiling Act of 2010 was re-introduced with stronger protections July 16 by Reps. John Conyers and Jerrold Nadler as HR 5748.

E-mail your congressional members to cosponsor the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA). If passed, ERPA would:

–prohibit the use of profiling based on race, religion, ethnicity or national origin by any federal, state, local or Indian tribal law enforcement agency
give individuals recourse if they have been unfairly targeted by such practices
institute programs to eliminate racial profiling that would require training for law enforcement agents, data collection, and procedures for responding to complaints

–permit the U.S. attorney general to withhold grants from law enforcement agencies not complying with the law and allow him to provide grants to agencies that are attempting to develop and implement best practices to eliminate racial profiling

–mandate that the attorney general submit periodic reports to Congress on any discriminatory policing practices to ensure that the intent of the bill is being met

Existing state laws and federal law enforcement guidance provide inconsistent and insufficient solutions to resolve this pervasive, national problem. In many cases, poor state, local and federal policies and guidance encourage or even condone biased policing. The recent passage of SB 1070 in Arizona makes the need for a comprehensive, national commitment to eliminating racial profiling all the more pressing.

E-mail your congress representative today to co-sponsor ERPA (HR 5748).

For more information about the campaign to Face the Truth to Stop Racial Profiling visit www.rightsworkinggroup.org or e-mail pbenjamin@rightsworkinggroup.org.