By Ramsey Cox
The End Racial Profiling Act, S. 1038, would make federal funding for law enforcement conditional on the adoption of policies that prohibit racial profiling and mandates training on racial profiling issues as part of federal law enforcement training.
Cardin said that money is wasted when police officers use time and resources against people who aren’t guilty but are apprehended because of their race.
“Racial profiling is bad policy and given the precarious state of our budgets, it also diverts scarce resources from real law enforcement,” Cardin said. “Congress and the Justice Department can and should still take steps to prohibit racial profiling and finally root out its use. Racial profiling has no place in modern law enforcement.”
Cardin said that racial profiling makes certain communities and minorities feel as if they can’t trust law enforcement or government.
“Using racial profiling makes it less likely that certain affected communities will voluntarily cooperate with law enforcement and community policing efforts, making it harder for our law enforcement community to combat crimes and fight terrorism," Cardin said. “Minorities living and working in these communities in which racial profiling is used may also feel discouraged from traveling freely, which corrodes the public trust in government.”
Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin (Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Chris Coons (Del.), Tom Harkin (Iowa), Bob Menendez (N.J.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Carl Levin (Mich.), Barbara Mikulski (Md.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Frank Lautenberg (N.J.) and Mazie Hirono (Hawaii) are co-sponsoring the bill.
Cardin said he was partially inspired to draft this bill after Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Florida teenager, was shot dead by a neighbor while he was on his way home from a convenience store last year.