July 15, 2016

Cardin Calls on Judiciary Committee to Finally Move Forward Legislation on Police Reform, Ending Racial Profiling

“The violent events of the past few weeks have underscored the extreme urgency for Congress to act to help restore trust between the police and the communities they serve.”

BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), author of both the Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act (S. 2168) and the End Racial Profiling Act (S. 1056), has written to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley urging him to take action on these two police reform bills as soon as the Senate returns in September. Senator Cardin has worked closely with Congressman John Conyers, the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee and Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, on both of these bills, which have been introduced in the House as H.R. 1933 (ERPA) and H.R. 2875 (LETIA).

 

“Americans can both support the police who protect our communities, sincerely mourning the deaths of those killed in the line of duty, and find it shameful that in 2016 a person still can be stopped by police simply because of the color of their skin, outward displays of religion or their perceived sexual orientation,” said Senator Cardin. “Across the country, senseless killings have eroded essential trust but Congress can take some commonsense steps to keep communities – particularly people of color – and law enforcement safe. When citizens and police work together as partners, America is safer and stronger.”

 

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on “Ending Racial Profiling in America” in April 2012, in which Sen. Cardin testified about his legislation.

 

The full text of the letter is below and can be downloaded here.

 

 

July 14, 2016

 

Senator Charles E. Grassley

Chairman

Senate Judiciary Committee

224 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, DC  20510

 

Dear Chairman Grassley:

 

            The violent events of the past few weeks have underscored the extreme urgency for Congress to act quickly to help restore the trust between the police and the communities they serve.  I therefore write to ask you take swift committee action on two important police reform measures immediately when the Senate reconvenes in September.

 

            First, the End Racial Profiling Act (S. 1056) would prohibit all levels of law enforcement agencies – federal, state, and local – from engaging in racial or discriminatory profiling. The bill mandates training on discriminatory profiling, differentiates between discriminatory profiling and specific information used to identify specific suspects, and authorizes grants for the development and implementation of best policing practices to discourage profiling and increase data collection. Attorney General Lynch recently announced that each of the Justice Department’s 28,000+ federal law enforcement agents and prosecutors will receive training to recognize and counter implicit bias. The End Racial Profiling Act would help ensure such important training is carried out at the state and local levels as well.

 

            Second, the Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act (S. 2168) takes a comprehensive approach to addressing the issue of police accountability and building trust between police departments and their communities. This legislation provides incentives for local police organizations to voluntarily adopt performance-based standards through accreditation to ensure that incidents of misconduct will be reduced through appropriate management, training and oversight protocols.  This measure provides police officers – the vast majority of whom perform their jobs professionally and put their lives on the line daily – with the tools necessary to improve community relations and enhance their professional growth and education.

 

Thank you for your consideration of my request.

           

Sincerely,

 

 

Benjamin L. Cardin

United States Senator

 

Cc: Ranking Member Patrick Leahy

 

 

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