WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) issued the following statement in response to news that the Department of Justice has begun a pattern or practice investigation into allegations of unlawful policing by the City of Ferguson Police Department:
“I welcome Attorney General’s Holder decision to open an investigation into allegations of unlawful policing by the City of Ferguson Police Department, in light of the recent shooting and death of teen Michael Brown. I also strongly support the Justice Department’s outreach efforts through their Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office to help better evaluate and train local law enforcement to carry out fair and impartial policing.
“Michael Brown did not need to die. This cycle of needlessly sacrificing our teens to violent ends must end. It has been heartbreaking to see yet another American town gripped by such a tragedy. In addition to the investigation announced Thursday, I urge Attorney General Holder to expedite new guidance that would once and for all prohibit racial profiling by law enforcement officials. For a more permanent fix, Congress should take up and pass my bill, the End Racial Profiling Act (S. 1038). This legislation provides training and monitoring for law enforcement agencies at all levels of government. By enacting this legislation, we can begin to reduce the disparities that plague our nation’s criminal justice system. We need to better educate more of our law enforcement officials in the differences between specific suspect descriptions and sweeping generalizations or profiling that wastes valuable resources. Racial profiling is un-American. It has no place within the values of our country. It turns communities against the partnerships needed to keep our neighborhoods safe.”