By Jim Kouri
A bill pending in the U.S. Congress to totally ban racial profiling by all U.S. law enforcement departments allocates millions of dollars in federal funds for police officer sensitivity training programs. The bill as written will also make it easier for those who claim discrimination to sue federal, state or local governments for damages.
According to a public-interest group that investigates government corruption and abuse, while the proposed law’s main selling point of ending purported discrimination by federal state and local police is noble, some of its provisions are outrageous and will cost taxpayers dearly.
The measure, End Racial Profiling Act of 2011 (ERPA), was first introduced in the U.S. Senate by Maryland Democrat Ben Cardin who was named the nation’s most liberal senator by the National Journal last year, according to the Judicial Watch blog.
This month Rep. John Conyers, the ethically challenged Michigan congressman embroiled in several corruption scandals, introduced the measure in the U.S. House. Conyers has been the focus of several Judicial Watch investigations in the past.
Criminal Profiling is a law-enforcement tool with a history that began in the early 1980s. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Behavioral Sciences Unit developed the first profile for a serial-killer (which, by the way, indicated a white male among its criteria).
Then, according to former-FBI special agent Robert Ressler, the BSU created profiles for other categories of crime including terrorism. Through the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, local law-enforcement officers were provided instruction in profiling, which they brought back to their respective police agencies.
The National Association of Chiefs of Police’s annual survey of our nation’s police commanders and security directors provides evidence of our insane infatuation with the politically-correct orthodoxy. The survey reveals that almost 60 percent of police departments enforce a written policy prohibiting so-called racial profiling. At the same time, the survey shows that 88 percent of American police and security executives believe our homeland will suffer a terrorist attack within the next year.
If the Cardin-Conyers bill passes, profiling by law enforcement on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion and gender will be prohibited. This assumes that racial profiling is prevalent now, which is what the various civil rights groups that are pushing for the law assert, stated the Judicial Watch blogger.
The language of the law also makes it much easier for supposed victims of racial profiling to prove police discriminated against them. It specifically says that an individual “injured” by racial profiling may go to court for “declaratory or injunctive relief” and that the “relief” (money) may be obtained against any government body, any agent of such body who engaged in racial profiling and any person with supervisory authority over such agent. A special provision allows plaintiffs to get attorney’s fees from the government as well as “expert fees.”
What must a maligned ethnic minority prove to succeed in court if this measure passes? They must prove that the routine or spontaneous investigatory activities of law enforcement agents in a jurisdiction have had a disparate impact on racial, ethnic, or religious minorities.
This could not be vaguer, stated the Judicial Watch blog.
Even before the victims of racial profiling start suing the government, this law will cost taxpayers a chunk of change. That’s because Uncle Sam will kick start it by doling out $5 million in grants to train law enforcement personnel to collect race-based data on stops and searches and teach officers to have more “respectful interaction” with the public.
Some of the money will also go to develop and implement “best practice devices and systems to eliminate racial profiling.” This includes a “feedback” system (presumably from targeted suspects) that identifies officers or units of officers engaged in, or at risk of engaging in, racial profiling or other “misconduct,” according to Judicial Watch.
Some of the influential leftist groups pushing to pass this law claim that racial profiling was traditionally thought of as targeting African Americans but has expanded, especially after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In fact, the Washington D.C.-based Rights Working Group claims that after 2001 the government adopted many policies based on “mistaken theories that religious identity or national origin makes a person more likely to engage in terrorism.”