ACLU Applauds Minority Law Enforcement Alliance Opposition to Racial Profiling

July 26, 2001 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union applauded a resolution adopted this afternoon by the Alliance of National Minority Law Enforcement Associations that supports comprehensive legislation to counter racial profiling, a practice that the Alliance said is the “foremost criminal justice and civil rights problem presently facing the nation.”

“The ball of opposition to racial profiling is rolling and picking up speed,” said Rachel King, ACLU Legislative Counsel. “The Alliance’s resolution is a crucial step in the fight to pass legislation that would definitively remove what is arguably the greatest threat to security and dignity for minorities in America.”

The resolution, adopted at the alliance’s Second Annual Forum here, specifically supports the End Racial Profiling Act of 2001 (S. 989, H.R. 2074), considered the most comprehensive bill against racial profiling to date, and the Racial Profiling Prohibition Act of 2001 (H.R. 1907), which would withhold federal highway funds from states that fail to enforce measures to combat racial profiling.

The resolution also recommends the appointment by the Attorney General of a National Task Force on Racial Profiling composed of law enforcement officials, criminal justice professionals, researchers, civil rights leaders, and faith-based and community-based members.

The Alliance is a national coalition of minority law enforcement organizations representing executives and rank-and-file officers. It is comprised of the Hispanic American Police Officials Association, the National Association of Asian American Law Enforcement Commanders, the National Asian Peace Officers Association, the National Black Police Association, the National Latino Police Officers Association, the National Native American Law Enforcement Association and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

The ACLU has long considered racial profiling, commonly defined as a law enforcement encounter initiated primarily on the basis of race or ethnicity, the most pressing criminal justice issue for civil liberties and civil rights groups.

“It’s heartening for us to have part of the law enforcement community on our side as we fight in Congress,” King said. “Racial profiling is a civil rights abuse, a social problem, a hamper on effective law enforcement, and the greatest catalyst for the erosion of public confidence in our peace officers.”

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