Dear Friends:

Last week, I spoke from the floor of the U.S. Senate to discuss the tragic shooting last month in Ferguson, Missouri. I wanted to share this important message with you.

“Michael Brown did not need to die. This cycle of needless sacrificing of our teens to violent ends must end. It has been heartbreaking to see yet another American town gripped by such a tragedy. I welcome Attorney General Holder’s decision to begin an investigation into the allegations of unlawful policing by the City of Ferguson’s Police Department. In addition to the recent investigation announced by the Department of Justice, I urge Attorney General Holder to expedite the issuance of new guidelines that would, once and for all, prohibit racial profiling by law enforcement officers at all levels of government, including the federal, State, and local law enforcement officials. Congress should also examine the program that provides for the transfer of surplus military equipment to local law enforcement agencies to ensure local government is not inhibiting the First Amendment rights of people to peaceably assemble and petition their government for the redress of grievances.”

“For a more permanent fix, Congress should take up and pass legislation that I authored, the End Racial Profiling Act, known as ERPA, which is S. 1038. This legislation provides training and monitoring for law enforcement agencies at all levels of government. By enacting this legislation, we can begin to reduce the racial disparities that plague our Nation’s criminal justice system. We need to better educate more of our law enforcement officials in the differences between specific suspect descriptions and sweeping generalizations or profiling that wastes valuable resources. Racial profiling is un-American. It has no place within the values of our country. It turns communities against the partnerships needed to keep our neighborhoods safe.”

I’m asking you to stand in solidarity with me and millions of other Americans in our commitment to ending racial profiling. It is time that we stop this unjust practice that is damaging our communities.

  1.  Sign up as a CITIZEN COSPONSOR of the End Racial Profiling Act. Click here for more information.
  2. Join me Tuesday for a BRIEFING on this important issue. Details are here. The event is co-hosted by the NAACP, the American Civil Liberties Union, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT).

 To watch the full video, click on the photo below or here: http://youtu.be/9yRoe2X4lTE

The full text, as delivered, is available here: http://tinyurl.com/CardinFerguson


Benjamin L. Cardin-_

United States Senator