***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
End Racial Profiling Act of 2015 Introduced with Protections Against Profiling based on Sexual Orientation, Gender, and Gender Identity
New protections address multiple ways LGBTQ youth of color are profiled
April 22, 2015 (WASHINGTON, DC) – Streetwise and Safe joins civil rights and LGBT organizations across the country in celebrating today’s introduction of the End Racial Profiling Act of 2015 which, consistent with the recently issued U.S. Department of Justice guidance on profiling and the recommendations of the Interim Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, expands the ban on racial profiling to include profiling based on gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
“Racial profiling is a critical issue for LGBTQ youth of color,” said Chris Bilal, Streetwise and Safe (SAS) campaign staff. “Across the country, LGBTQ and gender non-conforming youth of color report alarmingly high rates of police profiling resulting in myriad collateral consequences. Non-heterosexual youth are more likely to be stopped by the police and experience greater criminal justice sanctions not explained by greater involvement in violating the law or engaging in transgressive behavior.”
“The End Racial Profiling Act has always been an important piece of legislation for LGBTQ youth of color,” said Verónica Bayetti Flores, Policy Coordinator at Streetwise and Safe (SAS). “An End Racial Profiling Act with a profiling ban and enforcement mechanisms to address the multiple ways that people of color experience racial profiling – including profiling based on gender, gender identity and sexual orientation – would go a long way toward keeping LGBTQ youth of color safer from discriminatory policing. We are grateful to this historic legislation’s sponsors for their vision and commitment to addressing the multiple ways LGBTQ youth of color experience profiling.”
The End Racial Profiling Act of 2015 was introduced by Senator Bill Cardin (D – MD) and Congressman John Conyers (D – MI).
Streetwise and Safe (SAS) is a New York City based organization focused on the profiling and criminalization of LGBTQ youth of color. Along with allied organizations, SAS called for the passage of an End Racial Profiling Act inclusive of gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation in the 2014 report A Roadmap for Change: Federal Policy Recommendations for Addressing the Criminalization of LGBT People and People Living with HIV.
Senator Ben Cardin
509 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Representative John Conyers
2426 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Senator Cardin & Representative Conyers,
As members of the civil rights community, we look forward to the introduction of a comprehensive End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA) that would, consistent with the recently issued U.S. Department of Justice guidance on profiling and the recommendations of the Interim Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, expand the ban on racial profiling to include profiling based on gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
As members of Black communities, communities of color, American Indian and Alaska Native peoples, homeless and low-income communities, and immigrant communities, women and LGBT people of color experience discriminatory policing in many of the same ways as other members of communities of color, as well as in ways that are specific to their gender, gender identity and/or sexual orientation.i A recent national survey of LGBT people found that one fourth of respondents who had contact with police experienced at least one type of misconduct or harassment, including profiling, false arrests, verbal or physical assault, or sexual harassment or assault.ii LGBT people of color, LGBT people under 30, low-income LGBT people, and transgender respondents were much more likely to report police misconduct or harassment than their counterparts.iii LGBT people of color were five times more likely to be asked about their immigration status than white LGBT respondents.iv Across the country, non-heterosexual youth are more likely to be stopped by the police and experience greater criminal justice sanctions not explained by greater involvement in violating the law or engaging in transgressive behavior. Further, analysis of stop and frisk data for New York City reveals that the racial disparities in stops, frisks and arrests are identical for women and men.
It is therefore critical that both ERPA’s profiling ban and the enforcement mechanisms it creates address the multiple ways that people of color experience racial profiling, including profiling based on gender, gender identity and sexual orientation. The End Racial Profiling Act has always been an important piece of legislation for women and for the LGBT community, and we are grateful that the End Racial Profiling
Act of 2015 recognizes that racial profiling often takes gender and sexuality-specific forms, and offers comprehensive remedies that will ensure that all members of our communities will be protected from all of the forms of racial profiling we experience.
We thank you for your leadership in championing this legislation that will bring us closer to the promise of equal protection of laws for all.
American Civil Liberties Union, Arab American Association of New York, Black and Pink, Branching Seedz of Resistance, BreakOUT, Brooklyn Movement Center, Center for Constitutional Rights, Center for HIV Law and Policy, Center for Popular Democracy, Colorado Anti-Violence Project, ColorOfChange, Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence (CAAAV), Community Justice Project, Inc., Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Equity Project, Gay-Straight Alliance Network, Gender Justice LA, Global Action Project, Lambda Legal, Legal Aid Society, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, National Black Justice Coalition, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Center for Transgender Equality, National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, National LGBTQ Task Force, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, Out Now, Picture The Homeless, Providence Youth Student Movement, Streetwise and Safe, VOCAL, Young Women United, Christy Mallory, Amira Hasenbush, Brad Sears,
Discrimination and Harassment by Law Enforcement Officers in the LGBT
Community, (The Williams Institute, 2015), available at:
Lambda Legal, Protected and Served? (2014), available at: http://www.lambdalegal.org/protected-and-served/police; BreakOUT!
and National Council on Crime and Delinquency, We Deserve Better: A Report on Policing by and For Queer and Trans Youth
(2014), available at
Mogul, Andrea J. Ritchie, and Kay Whitlock, Queer (In)Justice; The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States
(Boston: Beacon Press, 2011); Make the Road New York, Transgressive Policing: Police Abuse of LGBTQ Communities of
Color in Jackson Heights (2012), available at
Mohsen Bazargen, Interactions of Latina Transgender Women with Law Enforcement (Bienestar, 2012), available at
http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Galvan-Bazargan-Interactions-April-2012.pdf; Brett G. Stoudt, Michelle
Fine, and Madeline Fox, Growing Up Policed in the Age of Aggressive Policing Policies (New York Law School Law Review,
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Nonheterosexual Youth: A National Longitudinal Study, (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011); Amnesty International,
Stonewalled: Police Abuse and Misconduct Against LGBT People in the United States (2005), available at
ii Lambda Legal, Protected and Served? (2012), available at http://www.lambdalegal.org/protected-and-served
Kathryn E. W. Himmelstein and Hannah Brückner, Criminal-Justice and School Sanctions Against Nonheterosexual Youth: A
National Longitudinal Study, (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011).