YWCA USA Supports the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act of 2017

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YWCA USA Supports the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act of 2017

Contact: Cindy Hoffman: 202 524 5330

YWCA USA supports the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act of 2017 (ERRPA) introduced today by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD). ERRPA would address racial profiling by prohibiting the practice, training law enforcement, ensuring adequate data collection, providing incentive grants to police departments that discourage racial profiling, and requiring the Department of Justice to provide regular reports on discriminatory policing practices. This type of multifaceted approach is a major step in the right direction for addressing a systemic issue with pervasive historical roots.

Statement by Casey Harden, Interim CEO of YWCA USA:

“Not only is the practice dehumanizing and humiliating, but racial profiling is ineffective. It incorrectly allocates police resources and wrongly promotes the idea that some racial and religious groups are more dangerous than others – this makes us all less safe. Senator Cardin’s legislation is a thoughtful and thorough approach to addressing racial and religious profiling in our country.

“Recent Executive Orders issued by President Trump reaffirm the necessity of this legislation. Rather than continuing the challenging but important work of bringing communities and police together around shared goals and values, these orders return us to the failed policies of zero tolerance and mandatory minimums that have led to the mass incarceration of people of color even as crime rates and deadly violence against police officers have declined. For people of color and other marginalized groups, these orders mean even further criminalization, more profiling, more violence by police and potentially increased punitive measures for non-violent crimes.

“America deserves and knows how to achieve better. YWCA USA calls for bipartisan support of this important legislation. Lawmakers can help the United States live up to our aspirational values of equality under the law by passing the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act this year.”

Background: Racial profiling is an ongoing injustice in the United States. In 2011-12 data, 70 police departments reported arresting black individuals at a rate 10 times higher than individuals of other races and over 1500 police departments reported arresting black individuals at rates over three times higher than individuals of other races. Discussions about racial profiling tend to focus on Black men, but Black women, Latinxs, Muslims, and other marginalized groups are also impacted. Data on traffic stops and other instances where racial profiling occur rarely disaggregate by both race and gender, which prevents the public from adequately assessing the severity of the issue. We know, however, that women of color also experience racial profiling and criminalization. For example, women of color airline passengers are subject to intrusive searches at U.S. airports, yet they are less likely than white women to be found with contraband. The implications of these systemic disparities are profound: an arrest makes completing school, finding a job, and providing for one’s family all the more challenging; targeted implementation of immigration policy tears families and communities apart; and the use of excessive force makes communities less safe and exacerbates distrust of law enforcement by communities of color.

Links to Executive Orders:
EO: Presidential Executive Order on Preventing Violence Against Federal State, Tribal and Local Law Enforcement Officers
EO: Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety
EO: Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety


YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. The organization is one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families each year. Learn more: www.ywca.org