Annual Meeting 2008

ABA Calls for Ban on Racial Profiling

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Federal and state legislatures should ban racial and ethnic profiling, according to a resolution passed by the ABA’s 555-member policy-making House of Delegates this afternoon.

“Police profiling based on a person’s accent, such as a white person speaking with an Hispanic accent, or dressed in a particular manner, such as a member of a sect or religious tradition,…results in perceptions by individuals and groups that the law does not operate fairly, judging each man or woman on the basis of his or her conduct…[T]he targeted individuals and groups believe that justice depends on race or ethnic identity, and, therefore, our institutions of justice cannot and should not be trusted,” according to the report for Resolution 104C (PDF).

The report noted that “racial and ethnic profiling does not include the use of racial or ethnic characteristics as part of a physical description of a particular person observed by police or other witnesses to be a participant in a crime or other violation of law.”

The resolution passed by an overwhelming voice vote. No one spoke in opposition.

Annual Meeting 2008:

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