Join the pushback against Racial Profiling

Dear ROPnetters,

The Trayvon Martin case is one tragic example of the impact racial profiling can have on our youth and our families.  With the Supreme Court due for a decision in the next few weeks on Arizona’s SB 1070, which seeks to legitimize racial profiling, people across the country have been uniting to confront racial profiling in a nationwide day of action.

Today, rural Oregonians are uniting with the Rights Working to advocate for the End Racial Profling Act.  Since we last checked in about this issue in April, over 25 members of Congress have signed on as co-sponsors.  Today, we need to let Senator Wyden know that Oregonians support the End Racial Profiling Act.

Take a moment to pick up the phone or send an email today and let him know!  Click here to add your name to a letter to Senator Wyden, or here to write your own personal story.

Thank you for taking the time to participate.  Online activism can have a deep impact at key moments – calling our representatives attention to the fact that WE ARE WATCHING.  One letter stands in for hundreds of constituents.  Reply to this email to let us know you have taken action, and we pledge to keep you updated.

In solidarity,

Background from the Rights Working Group:

Racial Profiling is the law enforcement practice of targeting and/or treating individuals differently based on their perceived race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, or gender.  It is pervasive across the United States and continues largely unchecked, violating constitutional and human rights in many communities. Racial profiling has proven ineffective in fighting crime, and because it relies on stereotypes, innocent people are harmed and degraded, leading to a loss of trust in law enforcement.

We need to show these key Senators the widespread support for ERPA, to encourage them to co-sponsor, and to pressure the Senate Judiciary Committee to mark-up and pass ERPA out of committee this fall. Take action today by e-mailing these your Senator and showing your support for ending racial profiling.

The End Racial Profiling Act of 2011 (ERPA) would ban profiling by federal, state and local law enforcement based on race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin.  ERPA takes these important steps to ban racial profiling:

  • Makes it unlawful for federal, state, local, or Indian tribal law enforcement to profile based on race, religion, ethnicity or national origin;
  • Creates a private right of action for victims of profiling, which would allow individuals who believe they have been subject to racial profiling to sue the agency they believe to have violated ERPA;
  • Allows the U.S. Attorney General to withhold grants from state law enforcement agencies that are not complying with ERPA;
  • Requires training on racial profiling for law enforcement agents;
  • Requires data collection and monitoring mechanisms such as complaint processes; and
  • For the first time, ERPA prohibits racial profiling in the context of law enforcement surveillance activities.
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