Civil Rights

“We must strive to simultaneously uphold the U.S. Constitution, protect our civil liberties, and fulfill our solemn obligation to protect the American people.”

I am dedicated to ensuring protections against any form of discrimination, including race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, gender, gender identity, veterans status, or sexual orientation. I will continue to insist that our federal judges and law enforcement officers in Maryland and throughout the nation meet the highest standards of judicial integrity and respect for the civil rights and liberties of all Americans.

Year after year, the murder of Americans at the hands of police have shined a light on the continuing systemic racial injustice in law enforcement. What these tragic deaths have made all too clear is that our communities across the country desperately need reform in our police and criminal justice systems. In Baltimore and nationwide, we must do a better job in protecting and celebrating human and civil rights and the lives of marginalized men, women, and children. We must redouble our efforts to continue the dialogue and the hard work needed to rebuild the trust between law enforcement and the neighborhoods they are sworn to protect and serve.

For years, I’ve led the Senate in promoting legislation to end discriminatory profiling by law enforcement and enforce changes in police accountability, data collecting, and training. I have spearheaded the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act and the Law Enforcement Trust and Accountability Act . Rather than unfairly targeting individuals due to their characteristics and turning communities away from the police, police would be provided with additional resources to develop new and more effective policing practices. The Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act would take a comprehensive approach to steer police departments toward a guardian and community-oriented model of policing, while at the same time expanding oversight and accountability over police misconduct. Too many people have needlessly lost their lives in encounters with law enforcement. We need to establish a guardian model, not a warrior model, for our law enforcement officers who are putting their lives on the line every day.