ACLU Calls Voinovich-DeWine Racial Profiling Bill A Small Gesture, Not Legislative Solution

April 11, 2002 12:00 am

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union today said a new bill to combat racial profiling falls far short of what is needed to end the travesty of selective law enforcement in America.

“The legislation is a small gesture. It concedes that racial profiling is unconstitutional and ineffective , but does little to end it,” said Rachel King, an ACLU Legislative Counsel. “Concrete and bold solutions are required to stop this shameful practice.”

The ACLU’s comments came in response to today’s announcement of new legislation introduced by the Republican Senators from Ohio, George Voinovich and Mike DeWine.

The bill would establish an education and awareness program about racial profiling; a step that the ACLU argues is insufficient to combat the realities of racial profiling.

“Communities across America — especially those in Ohio such as Cincinnati — do not need to be educated about the harms of racial profiling, they feel its negative effects on a daily basis,” King said.

King said that if Congress really wants to end racial profiling it should immediately pass the End Racial Profiling Act of 2001, sponsored by Russ Feingold (D-WI) in the Senate and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) in the House, which prohibits racial profiling, a step that both President Bush and Attorney General Ashcroft have publicly said is necessary. The bill also establishes remedies for victims and provides for data collection.

The Feingold-Conyers bill has bipartisan support from 16 Senators and 92 House members.

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