House Dem Proposes Federal Grants to Stop Racial Profiling

Pete Kasperowicz, The Hill, April 22, 2012

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) this week proposed legislation that would offer millions of dollars in federal grants to states that enact and enforce laws that prohibit the use of racial profiling.

The Racial Profiling Prevention act, H.R. 4398, is a response to the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida, which drew several complaints from Congressional Black Caucus members that Martin’s shooter, George Zimmerman, was not prosecuted because Martin was black.

“The Trayvon Martin tragedy did not involve a law enforcement officer, but his death reminds the country that every jurisdiction, including the federal government, has a responsibility to exercise its authority to eliminate practices that brand, on sight, black men and especially our youth as criminals,” Norton said. “Reports of racial profiling on federally funded highways, for example, are frequent. If we are serious about eliminating this form of racial discrimination, concrete steps are overdue.”

The bill would take $7.5 million a year from the Highway Trust Fund, for the next five years, and allow the government to use this for grants to states that are taking steps to curb racial profiling. {snip}

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