BALTIMORE — U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) today held a press conference in Baltimore to call for an end to racial profiling, which threatens African-American men and members of other minority communities.
In October 2011, Senator Cardin introduced legislation, the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA), S. 1670, which would protect minority communities by prohibiting the use of racial profiling by law enforcement officials. Senator Cardin’s bill also would prohibit state and local law enforcement officials from using race as a factor in criminal investigations. The bill is supported by the NAACP, ACLU, the Rights Working Group, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
“The senseless death of Trayvon Martin was avoidable and I join millions of other Americans who say enough is enough and justice must be done,” said Senator Cardin. “Trayvon may have been a victim of racial profiling, and I want make sure we have a federal and state investigation that prosecutes offenders to the fullest extent of the law. These investigations also need to examine local law enforcement’s actions in this case, and whether Travyon was treated differently because he was African American. I have called for putting an end to racial profiling, a practice that singles out individuals based on race, ethnic origin, or religious.”
The Senator also added: “The African-American community and other minority communities have a right to be outraged by the fact that young men are often singled out for suspicion and viewed as dangerous – even walking home from a convenience store. Profiling based on race, ethnicity, national origin or religion has no place in America.”
The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating the tragic, avoidable shooting death of Trayvon Martin. An unarmed Martin, 17, was shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer on February 26 on his way home from a convenience store in Sanford, FL.