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Racial, religious profiling growing problem in terror war - rights group report

[JURIST] Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) released a report Monday which concludes that profiling based on racial or religious background has become a growing problem in the US as the government expands its war on terror. Saying that one in three people are at high risk of being victimized, AIUSA makes the following recommendations:

1. The federal government should enact the End Racial Profiling Act of 2004 [PDF], or similarly comprehensive and effective anti-racial profiling legislation. Such a law would help our nation uphold its obligations under international treaties including the United Nations’ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), and make it more difficult for law enforcement officers to violate Americans’ rights under the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as well as the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee to protection from
unreasonable searches.

2. State and local governments should enact laws that effectively ban racial profiling. Each existing state law should be amended so that it includes the basic components necessary for such a law to be an effective tool for combating this problem. These components include...:
  • banning the targeting of individuals and groups by law enforcement, even partially, on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion, except where there is trustworthy information, relevant to the locality and timeframe, that links persons belonging to one of the aforementioned groups to an identified
    criminal incident or scheme
  • proscribing mandatory data collection for all stops and for all searches of pedestrians and motorists
  • criminalizing violations of the ban on racial profiling and specifying penalties for officers who repeatedly engage in racial profiling

    3. All law enforcement agencies should fully enforce existing local, state, and national anti-racial profiling legislation and policies.
  • Read the executive summary and the full report, Threat and Humiliation: Racial Profiling, National Security, and Human Rights in the United States [PDF]. AIUSA also breaks down racial profiling laws by state and has additional background. AP has more.

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