End Racial and Religious Profiling Act

The End Racial and Religious Profiling Act would prohibit federal, state, and local law enforcement from targeting a person based on actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation without trustworthy information that is relevant to linking a person to a crime.

H.R. 1280; S. 597

The Problem

Recent incidents of racial profiling with tragic results have brought renewed national attention to this issue that exists in every corner of the country. Unfortunately, new incidents of profiling continue to be reported at an alarming rate. Profiling of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) individuals also continues to be a problem, particularly for LGBTQ+ people of color and members of the transgender community. A report by the NAACP found that a quarter of LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV who reported in-person contact with law enforcement said they experienced harassment or misconduct—including profiling, verbal or physical assault, sexual harassment, or assault and false arrest. In a separate survey of transgender discrimination, 22 percent of transgender individuals who had police interactions reported harassment, 6 percent reported physical assault, and 2 percent reported being sexually assaulted by officers.

Police misconduct, when left unchecked, stigmatizes the law enforcement agencies that seek to serve the community with integrity, and fosters mistrust between the community and police that is difficult to repair.

What is the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act?

The End Racial and Religious Profiling Act would prohibit federal, state, and local law enforcement from targeting a person based on actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The bill requires law enforcement to maintain adequate policies and procedures designed to eliminate profiling, including increased data collection in order to accurately assess the extent of the problem. The bill also requires training for law enforcement officials on issues of profiling and mandates the creation of procedures for receiving, investigating, and responding to complaints of alleged profiling.

What is the Current Status of the Bill?

The End Racial and Religious Profiling Act was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Benjamin Cardin on March 4, 2021. The bill has not yet been introduced in the House of Representatives, however the language of the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act was included in H.R. 1280, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which passed the House on March 3, 2021.

 
For more information, please contact legislation@hrc.org. Read about other federal legislation pertinent to the LGBTQ community here.

Last Updated: October 8, 2021


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