By: Taren Vaughan
Racial profiling bill given new life because of Trayvon Martin? The Trayvon Martin case was a prime example of racial profiling as many people were convinced when the news first broke about the 17-year-old’s death that Trayvon would have never lost his life had he not been racially profiled by George Zimmerman that evening in Sanford, Florida. However, long before Trayvon Martin’s life was tragically taken away from him, racial profiling was a problem and still is one today as it continues to be a huge issue for African Americans, especially for black males. The case has sparked boycotts and protests in honor of the slain teen and now democrats in Congress are hoping to see the racial profiling bill get another chance due to the outcome of the fatal incident involving Trayvon, according to U.S. News and World Report:
“Trayvon is one of too many individuals across the country who have been victimized by a perception of criminality simply because of their race, ethnicity, religion or national origin. These individuals are denied the basic respect and equal treatment that is the right of every American,” says Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., who is sponsoring the End Racial Profiling Act.
Congress is using the lessons of the Martin case to push for legislation that would make it illegal for law enforcement agencies to profile individuals as criminals on a basis of the skin color or religious practice. Law enforcement agencies that rely on federal government funding would be required to show they did not use racial profiling in their agency.
Conyers introduced the End Racial Profiling Act Tuesday alongside longtime supporter Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., who is sponsoring the Senate version of the bill.
Aside from banning racial profiling, the bill seeks to strengthen law enforcement training to ensure officers are basing their patrols and apprehensions based on behavior not skin color.