Witnesses have not yet been announced, but the hearing was likely prompted by the case of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old from Florida who was fatally shot by a neighborhood watchman.
Shortly after the case made national news, Durbin called for changes in the law to prevent such a thing from happening again, an apparent reference to Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law that can shield people from liability in self-defense cases. He also said he couldn't see any justification for the shooting.
"The only weapon he was carrying was a bag of Skittles," Durbin said last month. "The only thing that he could have done to raise suspicions was walk back."
The hearing will explore how profiling harms law enforcement and the different faces of racial profiling against Hispanic Americans, African Americans and American Muslims. The hearing will also look at Sen. Ben Cardin's (D-Md.) End Racial Profiling Act, S. 1670.