[House Hearing, 111 Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
RACIAL PROFILING AND THE USE OF SUSPECT CLASSIFICATIONS IN LAW
SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE CONSTITUTION,
CIVIL RIGHTS, AND CIVIL LIBERTIES
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED ELEVENTH CONGRESS
JUNE 17, 2010
Serial No. 111-131
Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary
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COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
JOHN CONYERS, Jr., Michigan, Chairman
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California LAMAR SMITH, Texas
RICK BOUCHER, Virginia F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, Jr.,
JERROLD NADLER, New York Wisconsin
ROBERT C. ``BOBBY'' SCOTT, Virginia HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
MELVIN L. WATT, North Carolina ELTON GALLEGLY, California
ZOE LOFGREN, California BOB GOODLATTE, Virginia
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas DANIEL E. LUNGREN, California
MAXINE WATERS, California DARRELL E. ISSA, California
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
STEVE COHEN, Tennessee STEVE KING, Iowa
HENRY C. ``HANK'' JOHNSON, Jr., TRENT FRANKS, Arizona
Georgia LOUIE GOHMERT, Texas
PEDRO PIERLUISI, Puerto Rico JIM JORDAN, Ohio
MIKE QUIGLEY, Illinois TED POE, Texas
JUDY CHU, California JASON CHAFFETZ, Utah
TED DEUTCH, Florida TOM ROONEY, Florida
LUIS V. GUTIERREZ, Illinois GREGG HARPER, Mississippi
TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
CHARLES A. GONZALEZ, Texas
ANTHONY D. WEINER, New York
ADAM B. SCHIFF, California
LINDA T. SANCHEZ, California
DANIEL MAFFEI, New York
JARED POLIS, Colorado
Perry Apelbaum, Majority Staff Director and Chief Counsel
Sean McLaughlin, Minority Chief of Staff and General Counsel
Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
JERROLD NADLER, New York, Chairman
MELVIN L. WATT, North Carolina F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, Jr.,
ROBERT C. ``BOBBY'' SCOTT, Virginia Wisconsin
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts TOM ROONEY, Florida
HENRY C. ``HANK'' JOHNSON, Jr., STEVE KING, Iowa
Georgia TRENT FRANKS, Arizona
TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin LOUIE GOHMERT, Texas
JOHN CONYERS, Jr., Michigan JIM JORDAN, Ohio
STEVE COHEN, Tennessee
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
JUDY CHU, California
David Lachmann, Chief of Staff
Paul B. Taylor, Minority Counsel
C O N T E N T S
JUNE 17, 2010
The Honorable Jerrold Nadler, a Representative in Congress from
the State of New York, and Chairman, Subcommittee on the
Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties................ 1
The Honorable Robert C. ``Bobby'' Scott, a Representative in
Congress from the State of Virginia, and Member, Subcommittee
on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties......... 6
The Honorable Steve Cohen, a Representative in Congress from the
State of Tennessee, and Member, Subcommittee on the
Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties................ 6
The Honorable John Conyers, Jr., a Representative in Congress
from the State of Michigan, Chairman, Committee on the
Judiciary, and Member, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil
Rights, and Civil Liberties.................................... 6
Mr. Hilary O. Shelton, Director, NAACP Washington Bureau
Oral Testimony................................................. 8
Prepared Statement............................................. 11
Mr. Christopher Burbank, Chief of Police, Salt Lake City Police
Oral Testimony................................................. 14
Prepared Statement............................................. 17
Mr. Brian L. Withrow, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Criminal
Justice, Texas State University
Oral Testimony................................................. 21
Prepared Statement............................................. 23
Ms. Deborah Ramirez, Professor of Law, Northeastern University
Oral Testimony................................................. 31
Prepared Statement............................................. 34
Mr. Amardeep Singh, Program Director, Sikh Coalition
Oral Testimony................................................. 38
Prepared Statement............................................. 40
Mr. David A. Harris, Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh
School of Law
Oral Testimony................................................. 52
Prepared Statement............................................. 54
Ms. Farhana Khera, President and Executive Director, Muslim
Oral Testimony................................................. 62
Prepared Statement............................................. 64
LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING
Prepared Statement of the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.,
a Representative in Congress from the State of Wisconsin, and
Ranking Member, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights,
and Civil Liberties............................................ 3
Information submitted by the Honorable Judy Chu, a Representative
in Congress from the State of California, Member, Committee on
the Judiciary, and Member Subcommittee on the Constitution,
Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.............................. 82
Material Submitted for the Hearing Record........................ 89
RACIAL PROFILING AND THE USE OF SUSPECT CLASSIFICATIONS IN LAW
THURSDAY, JUNE 17, 2010
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on the Constitution,
Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties,
Committee on the Judiciary,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:21 p.m., in
room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, the Honorable Jerrold
Nadler (Chairman of the Subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Representatives Nadler, Conyers, Scott, Johnson,
Cohen, Jackson Lee, and Chu.
Also present: Representative Ellison.
Staff present: (Majority) David Lachmann, Subcommittee
Chief of Staff; Keenan Keller, Counsel; and (Minority) Paul
Taylor, Minority Counsel.
Mr. Nadler. This hearing of the Subcommittee on the
Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties will come to
I will begin by recognizing myself for an opening
Today's hearing examines racial profiling and the use of
suspect classifications in law enforcement policy. Racial
profiling is a problem, not simply because it unfairly targets
people for different treatment by law enforcement based on the
immutable characteristics such as race, nationality or
religion, but because it is bad policing policy. Looking for
people of a certain race in the hope that this will make it
easier to find criminals is simply not an effective way to
identify and apprehend the bad guys and make us all safer.
It would be nice if all criminals and terrorists walked
around with the mark of Cain on their foreheads, but the real
world is not like that. Focusing on people who fit the profile
of what some believe a criminal would or should look like
distracts and diverts the attention of law enforcement in ways
that can prove disastrous to public safety. So, in addition to
being unfair, profiling does not deliver on its alleged
What makes the problem of racial profiling more complex and
requires policymakers to think about it in a more careful and
sophisticated manner, is that racial profiling cannot simply be
attributed to a few races abusing their power. They, of course,
are still with us. But just as it would be easier if every
crook carried around a sign saying, ``I am a bad guy,'' so,
too, it would make our jobs a lot easier if every law
enforcement agent or officer who engaged in the practice looked
like Bull Connor. But that also is not the case.
We need to deal with the fact that profiling is not always,
and not necessarily, a result of racial or religious bigotry.
It can be the result of poor training, flawed policing methods,
or simply conventional wisdom, which may not be true, but which
is commonly held--which is, of course, the definition of
This is not to say that bigots have not tried, sometimes
successfully, to use the public's justifiable fear of crime and
terrorism to malign entire groups or faiths. Racist demagoguery
is still with us, and we have an obligation to confront it
forcefully and effectively.
The facts, however, clearly belie the assertion that
profiling is good or effective law enforcement. The view that
it is appropriate law enforcement to go after certain groups is
thankfully a marginal one in this day and age.
Today's hearing will look at all the dimensions of racial
profiling and examine what actions Congress can take to protect
individuals from being singled out by law enforcement for
reasons based on characteristics having nothing to do with
whether or not they are fairly suspected of committing some
kind of wrongdoing.
The solution lies not just in enforcement of rules against
profiling, but in education and training for our law
enforcement personnel. Our law enforcement officers deserve our
support and the tools they need to do their jobs effectively.
I want to thank the Chairman of the full Committee for his
efforts over the years and for his continued leadership on this
very important issue. The effort to eliminate racial profiling
has never been a partisan one, and I hope that as we move
forward we can consider solutions to this problem in a
business-like manner. I look forward to working with the
Chairman as the Committee moves forward with this very
I welcome our witnesses, and I look forward to their
testimony. And I yield back the balance of my time.
At this point, I would normally say the Chair now
recognizes the distinguished Ranking Member for an opening
statement, but he is not feeling well. And so, without
objection, we will admit his written statement into the record.
So, the Ranking Member's statement, without objection, will
be admitted into the record.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Sensenbrenner follows:]
Prepared Statement of the Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., a
Representative in Congress from the State of Wisconsin, and Ranking
Member, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil
Mr. Nadler. And we will now recognize the Chairman of the
full Committee for an opening statement.
Mr. Conyers. Thank you, Jerrold Nadler, Chairman of
Let me yield first to Bobby Scott, the Chairman of the
current--of the Crime Subcommittee, with whom we have been
working on this issue across the years.
Mr. Scott. Well, thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And I thank the Subcommittee Chairman for calling the
hearing. This is an important hearing.
And the focus really needs to be on this issue of
profiling, as to what impact it has on law-abiding citizens and
the harassment that they get by undeserved attention, and how
this practice diverts attention and resources of law
enforcement from those who are, in fact, truly dangerous to
society, so we have people who are being focused on without any
reason, and you have law enforcement resources being diverted
at the same time.
So, I look forward to the witnesses in addressing those two
issues, and yield back.
Mr. Conyers. Thanks, Bobby Scott.
I would like to just acknowledge Steve Cohen of Memphis,
Tennessee, who is going to be very important in this. He was a
state senator for many years in his state prior to coming to
Congress, as well as an attorney for all these years, as well.
Mr. Cohen. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This is an important
hearing, and I am pleased to participate.
We filed two bills on this subject: the Justice Integrity
Act, which calls for a study of racial profiling, groups to
come together and study the issues and try to come up with
recommendations on racial profiling; and also a bill that deals
with Byrne grants, and requiring recipients of Byrne grants to
do statistical analysis and report back to us. So, there are
important subjects we need to look into.
We passed a law like this in Tennessee to have the state
highway patrol make such reports. And while I think it is
important to get the reports, I think there is no question that
the data is already in that there is racial profiling done by
I know that the professor from Texas State--and I was in
San Marcos this weekend--is not necessarily a proponent of
this. But the fact is, if you are Hispanic, if you are African
American, or even if you are a hippie, it is likely you are
going to get picked up. And those are not the right things, and
they do not normally find--even find anything.
So, the statistics show it is a waste of law enforcement
time, when they could be getting out and getting some real
people that they ought to be getting and spend their time on
the real criminals.
So, I thank the Chairman for recognizing me, the Chairman
of the Subcommittee for the hearing, and all of our panelists,
too. Thank you.
Mr. Conyers. Thank you.
Chairman Nadler and I were working on the traffic stops act
in 1997--that is driving while Black. And it passed the House;
it did not pass the Senate. And we have had two things that
have put emphasis on the nature of the discussion that we have
before us with these seven distinguished witnesses.
One was Henry Louis Gates, the professor that was arrested
for I do not know what, suspicion of what the actual facts were
there. But it highlighted the issue that we are examining
The other, of course, was the Arizona law that has really
made us think about this issue along the lines of the
introductory remarks of Chairman Nadler.
We are trying to limit profiling. And it makes an
interesting case. We have law enforcement people here. And it
is one thing to have a suspicion. It is another thing to be
racially profiling, because you look like an Arab, you look
like an African American.
And I think that distinction is going to come out of this
discussion. So, I think we are on the verge of moving past what
we did in 1997, 1998.
And I welcome the fact that you have called this hearing
today. Thank you very much.
Mr. Nadler. I thank the gentleman.
In the interest of proceeding to our witnesses, and mindful
of our busy schedules, I ask that other Members submit their
opening statements for the record.
Without objection, all Members will have 5 legislative days
to submit opening statements for inclusion in the record.
Without objection, the Chair will be authorized to declare a
recess of the hearing, which hopefully will not be necessary.
We will now turn to our panel of witnesses. And our first
witness is--I will introduce them--Hilary Shelton is the vice
president for advocacy and director of the NAACP's Washington
bureau. He previously worked as the Federal liaison and
assistant director for the Government Affairs Department for
the United Negro College Fund. Mr. Shelton received his B.A.
from Howard University and M.A. degree from the University of
Missouri in St. Louis.
Christopher Burbank is the chief of police of the Salt Lake
City Police Department and has worked for the department since
1991. During the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games,
Chief Burbank also served as the liaison with U.S. Secret
Service. He is a graduate of the University of Utah and the
FBI's National Executive Institute.
Brian Withrow is an associate professor of criminal justice
at Texas State University San Marcos. He served one term as
mayor of Bel Aire, Kansas, and worked for the Texas Department
of Public Safety. Professor Withrow earned his B.A. from
Stephen Austin State University, his M.P.A. from Southwest
Texas State University, and his Ph.D. from Sam Houston State
Deborah Ramirez is a professor of law at Northeastern
University Law School. She is the founder of the Partnering for
Prevention and Community Safety Initiative and has been a
consultant to the Department of Justice on racial profiling
issues. Professor Ramirez received her B.A. from Northwestern
University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Amardeep Singh is the co-founder and program director of
the Sikh Coalition, the Nation's largest Sikh American civil
rights organization. In that role, Mr. Singh has represented
dozens of Sikh victims of airport profiling, employment
discrimination and hate crimes, and has helped shape guidelines
governing the searches of Sikh passengers in U.S. airports.
David Harris is the distinguished faculty scholar at the
University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He served as a member
of the Civil Liberties Advisory Board to the White House
Commission on Aviation Safety and Security. Professor Harris
received a B.A. from Northwestern University and a J.D. from
Yale Law School.
Farhana Khera is the president and executive director of
Muslim Advocates. Ms. Khera was counsel to the U.S. Senate
Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution, where
she advised Senator Russ Feingold on civil rights and civil
liberties. Ms. Khera received her B.A. from Wellesley College
and her J.D. from Cornell Law School.
I am pleased to welcome all of you. Your written statements
will be made part of the record in its entirety. I would ask
each of you to summarize your testimony in 5 minutes. To help
you stay within that time, there is a timing light at your
table. When 1 minute remains, the light will switch from green
to yellow, and then red when the 5 minutes are up.
Before we begin, it is customary for the Committee to swear
in its witnesses.
Let the record reflect that the witnesses answered in the
affirmative. You may be seated, all of you.
And our first witness is Mr. Shelton. And I recognize Mr.
Shelton for 5 minutes.
TESTIMONY OF HILARY O. SHELTON, DIRECTOR,
NAACP WASHINGTON BUREAU
Mr. Shelton. Thank you, and good afternoon, Chairman
Nadler, Ranking Member Sensenbrenner, Congressmen Scott,
Johnson, Cohen and Members of the Subcommittee. Thank you so
much for calling this important hearing and for asking me here
today to share with you the NAACP's position on this crucial
Let me also offer a special word of thanks to Chairman
Conyers for his leadership on this issue over the years.
The NAACP currently has a membership unit in every state in
the country, and I would wager that every NAACP unit has
received numerous complaints of racial profiling.
For the record and to avoid confusion, the operational
definition of the term ``racial profiling'' means the practice
of a law enforcement agent or agency relying to any degree on
race, ethnicity, national origin or religion in selecting which
individuals to subject to routine or spontaneous investigatory
activities or in deciding upon the scope and substance of law
enforcement activities following the initial investigatory
Sadly, racial profiling is being used, even today, at all
levels of law enforcement. Local, state and Federal agents have
been shown to use racial profiling, a misdirected tool for
policing. The fact that racial profiling is still a common
tactic among so many law enforcement agents is, frankly,
startling, given that this has been proven to be an
inefficient, ineffective, offensive and counter-productive
It also, sadly, undercuts our community's trust and faith
in the integrity of the American judicial system. When one
cannot drive down an interstate, walk down the street or even
enter into our own homes without being detained for questioning
by law enforcement agents merely because of physical
characteristics such as the color of one's skin, there is
indeed a big problem.
As a result of profiling practices, it becomes much harder
for law enforcement--even those who do not engage in racial
profiling--to do their jobs to prevent, investigate, prosecute
or solve crimes.
Evidence to support the prevalence of racial profiling by
law enforcement officials is as voluminous as it is varied.
According to a 2004 report by Amnesty International USA,
approximately 32 million Americans--a number equivalent to the
population of Canada--report that they have already been
victims of racial profiling. And according to the Northeastern
University Racial Profiling Data Collection Resource Center,
there is an ongoing litigation involved in racial profiling in
33 out of 50 states. And we will hear more about that when
Professor Ramirez speaks.
Furthermore, people speaking out against racial profiling
from both political parties include former President Bill
Clinton, who called racial profiling a ``morally indefensible,
deeply corrosive practice,'' and further stated that ``racial
profiling is in fact the opposite of good police work, where
actions are based on hard facts, not stereotypes. It is wrong,
it is destructive, and it must stop.''
And George W. Bush, who on February 27, 2001, said that
racial profiling is ``wrong, and we will end it in America. In
so doing, we will not hinder the work of our Nation's brave
police officers. They protect us every day--often at great
risk. But by stopping the abuses of a few, we will add to the
public confidence our police officers earn and deserve.''
Since coming to the NAACP almost 14 years ago, I have had
the honor of working with coalition partners, Members of
Congress, varied Administration officials from both political
parties, and folks on the street, to try to develop an
effective approach to end racial profiling. There are a few
steps that need to be taken at the Federal level to end racial
profiling once and for all.
First, we need a clear definition of racial profiling, an
unequivocal ban on its use by all law enforcement officials.
Secondly, we need data collection to truly assess the
extent of the problem. In simple terms, our mantra must be,
``in order to fix this problem, we must first measure it.''
The only way to move the discussion about racial profiling
from rhetoric and accusation to a more rational dialogue and
appropriate enforcement strategies is to collect the data that
will either allay community concerns about the activities of
the police or help communities address the scope and magnitude
of this problem. Furthermore, implementing a data collection
system sends a clear message to law enforcement, as well as the
larger communities they serve, that racial profiling is
inconsistent with effective policing and equal protection.
Data collection also informs the third element of an
effective racial profiling agenda, which is effective training.
Law enforcement officials at all levels--from the cop on the
beat, to the state police, to the Federal agent--should all be
required to not only identify racial profiling, but also to put
an end to it while increasing their effectiveness in serving
and protecting our communities and our Nation.
Fourth, and last, is, an effective and aggressive anti-
racial profiling agenda must enable citizens and the government
alike to hold law enforcement agencies that continue to use
racial profiling accountable--not to be applied in a ``gotcha''
dynamic, but in informed law enforcement administrators as a
tool to improve their effectiveness. In order for anti-racial
profiling actions to be effective and to rebuild the trust
between law enforcement and the communities that they are
charged with protecting, people must know that we are serious
about eliminating this scourge.
Mr. Chairman, the vast majority of law enforcement officers
are hard-working, courageous men and women whose concern for
the safety of those that they have been charged with protecting
is paramount--even when their own safety is, quite frankly, put
on the line. In many cases, law enforcement officials are
racial and ethnic minorities themselves, concerned about what
happens when they, too, are out of uniform while traveling our
Nation's highways, byways and walkways.
All will acknowledge that law enforcement agents should not
endorse or act upon stereotypes, attitudes or beliefs that a
person's race, ethnicity, appearance or national origin
increases that person's general propensity to act unlawfully.
The concept that we must somehow choose between public safety
and the protection of our civil rights and civil liberties is
misguided, at best, and woefully unconstitutional. Ending this
deplorable practice of racial profiling is an effective and
principled way forward.
I want to thank you again for the opportunity to be with
you today, and I look forward to our questions and
[The prepared statement of Mr. Shelton follows:]
Prepared Statement of Hilary O. Shelton
Mr. Nadler. I thank you.
We will now recognize Chief Burbank for 5 minutes.
TESTIMONY OF CHRISTOPHER BURBANK, CHIEF OF POLICE, SALT LAKE
CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT
Chief Burbank. Thank you very much. It is an honor to be
The essential duty of modern law enforcement is to protect
the civil rights of individuals, while providing for the safety
of all members of the communities we serve--equally, without
bias. Anti-immigration fervor, manifesting itself in the form
of controversial laws in states throughout the Nation,
jeopardizes this fundamental tenet and the principles upon
which we base our profession.
Requiring local police agencies to enforce Federal
immigration laws is contrary to our mission, marginalizes
significant segments of the population, and ultimately harms
effective community policing. We function best when we are a
part of, not apart from, the community.
Police officers should enforce and uphold the law
regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual
orientation. The ideal that all people are created equal with
certain unalienable rights is the basis upon which the United
States of America was founded. However, we have labored with
this notion from its inception over 230 years ago.
Unfortunately, law enforcement has been an effective tool
of oppression throughout the history of our Nation. Biased laws
and practices have forced officers to engage in institutional
racism. It was barely a generation ago that law enforcement was
charged with keeping water fountains separate and high schools
racially segregated. We are still struggling to repair the
mistrust and resentment that many communities continue to feel.
By increasing our civil immigration role, law enforcement
is placed in the untenable position of potentially engaging in
unconstitutional racial profiling, while attempting to maintain
the trust within the communities we protect. Officers are
forced to detain and question individuals for looking or
speaking differently from the majority, not for their criminal
In Salt Lake City, approximately one-third of the
population is Latino and subject to inappropriate police
scrutiny. Often unrecognized in the immigration debate is the
efficacy of enforcement and the adverse impact upon all
individuals of color. How is a police officer to determine
status without detaining and questioning anyone who speaks,
looks or acts as if they might be from another nation?
The process moves us frighteningly close to regulations
restricting free movement inside the country and mandating
identification or citizenship papers for all people. Can you
imagine a procedure similar to that of boarding an airplane to
cross the borders of states within the union?
The strongest proponents of immigration enforcement are on
record as saying Hispanics commit crime at a higher rate than
other racial groups. There is no statistical support for this
racist rhetoric. In fact, cities throughout the Nation have
experienced dramatic reductions in crime across all categories,
especially violent crime.
Salt Lake City had a record low four homicides in 2009.
This is incongruent with the proponents' claims that illegal
immigrants are flooding to Utah and that they are responsible
for committing the majority of violent crime.
Recently, a Utah state representative publicly stated that
a lack of proficiency with the English language amounted to
reasonable suspicion to stop and detain an individual. Limited
language skills are not indicative of criminal behavior. We are
proud of the large number of immigrants living in the City of
Salt Lake, many of which are of Hispanic origin and speak
Spanish as their primary language.
We also have immigrant residents from numerous other
nations of the world. All are vital members of our community.
We strive to provide those with limited English proficiency the
same professional, quality police service as those who speak
Requiring law enforcement agencies to engage in civil
immigration activities diverts critical resources away from our
central responsibilities during a time of budget cuts and
staffing shortages. Currently, the Salt Lake County adult
detention facility releases, on average, 900 criminal violators
monthly due to overcrowding. Detainees held for reasons of
civil immigration status alone will necessitate the release of
an even larger number of criminals into our neighborhoods.
I firmly believe that we, as administrators and stewards of
public trust, must have our voices heard. Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr., taught of social responsibility, ``History will have
to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social
transition was not the vitriolic and the violent agents of the
bad people, but the appalling silence and indifference of the
good. Our generation will have to repent not only for the words
and actions of the children of darkness, but also for the fears
and apathy of the children of light.''
In conclusion, I recently attended the funeral services for
Sergeant Franco Aguilar of the Sevier County, Utah, sheriff's
office--the son of an immigrant family who lost his life in the
performance of his duty. He was an individual, representative
of so many that we employ, willing to sacrifice his personal
safety and the well-being of his family to serve each of us.
I shudder to think that the children of this hero of the
state of Utah might one day be inappropriately detained and
questioned because of their ethnicity or the color of their
skin. While all of us are entitled to freedom from persecution,
I believe this family has earned it.
[The prepared statement of Chief Burbank follows:]
Prepared Statement of Christopher Burbank
Mr. Nadler. Thank you.
We will now hear from--I will now recognize Professor
Withrow for 5 minutes.
TESTIMONY OF BRIAN L. WITHROW, Ph.D., ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF
CRIMINAL JUSTICE, TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY
Mr. Withrow. Thank you, Chairman Nadler and Ranking Member
Sensenbrenner and Members of the Subcommittee. I am honored to
be here today.
During the past 15 years, I have been involved in the
racial profiling controversy in a number of ways. As a scholar,
I conduct a great deal of research into this area and publish
books and articles like many of the men and women that are here
with us today. And also as a consultant, I work with police
departments who are struggling with this issue all over the
country. I work with departments very large, and some very
small, and even a few from overseas.
During this time, I have seen this controversy grow from an
accusation following a routine traffic stop to an allegation in
an airport, and now to a prediction on what might happen in a
state that is somewhat committed to unilaterally enforcing
Federal immigration laws.
I am a participant in this controversy, but I am not a
pundit. I am interested in this issue and recognize it as its
importance to American policing, but I am not at all
ideological about it.
It is an important issue. It faces the policing community
in a severe manner.
But despite my experience in a previous life as a police
officer, I approached the controversy and the research without
a preconceived notion or assumption. The results are what they
are. And it is an important part that we ask questions.
One of the questions that we have today, as I understand,
is to what extent should race or ethnicity influence decisions
made by criminal justice actors? The answer lies on a
continuum. At one extreme, race is an identifier; at the other,
race is an indicator.
As an identifier, race and ethnicity are indispensible.
Along with other physical, behavioral and demographic features,
information about an individual's race or ethnicity--or, as it
often is viewed, skin color--is often essential for accurate
identification--for good reason. Racial and ethnic information
are often included in published descriptions of criminal
suspects, missing persons and potential witnesses. Such
information about known or suspected individuals enables police
officers to be more efficient and to be more accurate.
On the other side of that continuum is race as an
indicator. Race and ethnicity as indicator are, at best, a
distraction. There is no evidence at all--none at all--in the
literature that race and ethnicity play any role in criminal
propensity. The use of race and ethnicity in suspect
classifications and profiles is far more than
counterproductive; it is insidious.
Spectators of the racial profiling controversy point to
arrests, convictions, incarceration rates as evidence that
racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to be involved in
serious criminal activity. And while these statistics are
generally true, that racial and ethnic minorities are over-
represented in arrests, convictions and incarcerations, there
is scant evidence--none at all, actually--that they are
necessarily more likely to be involved in criminal behavior.
So, as an identifier, race and ethnicity are helpful. As an
indicator, they are illegal.
Let me finish by saying that in the history of American
policing, we have dealt--the industry of policing has dealt
with some very serious issues. High-speed vehicular chases,
civil rights issues--a lot of challenges have faced the
profession over the last 100 years or so. And there are three
things that we always turn back to that make a difference in
whether or not the problem was solved.
The first thing is we measure it. We find out where it is,
what is happening, what are the dynamics of it, where it is
located and who is doing it.
The second thing we do is attention. High-speed chase is an
example. In many communities in this country, if a police
officer engaged in a high-speed chase, they must have
permission before they begin that process, and they must
regularly engage in a review of that high-speed chase while it
is going on in order to make sure that it is valid.
So, we measure, we are attentive to it, and we train it.
It is important that we understand as police officers how
our behavior is perceived by others, and that makes a
difference in the outcome of things.
Again, I appreciate the opportunity to be here today and,
certainly, at the appropriate time will be happy to answer any
questions. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Withrow follows:]
Prepared Statement of Brian L. Withrow
Mr. Nadler. Thank you.
I will now recognize Professor Ramirez for 5 minutes.
TESTIMONY OF DEBORAH RAMIREZ, PROFESSOR OF LAW, NORTHEASTERN
UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL
Ms. Ramirez. Thank you, Chairman Nadler, Representative
Conyers and esteemed Members of this Subcommittee, for giving
me this opportunity this afternoon to testify.
I would like to share with you some of the lessons that I
have learned over the past 10 years in working on racial
profiling issues. And I am going to speak first about racial
profiling in the context of national security.
The first and most important lesson that I have learned is
this. Racial profiling is not an effective component of a
counter-terrorism strategy. It is a sloppy and lazy substitute
for the kind of strategic and intelligent law enforcement that
we need to keep our homeland safe. And while it may be tempting
to target Arabs and Muslims, using race, religion or ethnicity
as a proxy for involvement in crime is both too broad and too
It is too broad, because the vast majority of Arabs in this
world are non-violent, law-abiding people, not dangerous
And it is too narrow, because there is no such thing as a
``Middle Eastern look.'' Arabs come in all colors and sizes,
and numerous Americans who trace their heritage to Mexico,
Spain, Greece, India, Italy all share a ``Middle Eastern
Moreover, most of the accused terrorists are not Arab. They
are John Walker Lind, a White American; Zacarias Moussaouri, an
African with a French passport; Richard Reid, a half-West
Indian, half-Englishman with a British passport; Jose Padilla,
Latino; David Hicks, Australian; and Colleen LaRose, also known
by most of us as Jihad Jane, a blond, middle-aged, White
American; and Daniel Patrick Boyd, a middle-aged, White
American male from North Carolina.
All of these people accused of terrorism do share one
characteristic. They are Muslim. But Muslims are 20 percent of
the world's population and can be of any nationality or origin,
including African and Asian. Moreover, adding Muslims would now
broaden the profile to the point of uselessness, because it
creates an array of characteristics too widely shared to be
Second, I have learned that whenever we profile terrorists
or criminals, they are going to respond by modifying their
behavior and recruitment practices. If we target Middle
Eastern-looking males, they will respond with someone like
The second lesson I have learned is this, and I learned
this from counter-terrorism agents. They tell me the key to
effective counter-terrorism is information. And much of the
information they need to thwart terrorism, especially home-
grown terrorism and radicalization, resides within the Arab,
Muslim and Sikh communities. When law enforcement officers
partner with these communities, the communities are more likely
to share information with them about suspicious behavior or
We know that potential terrorists often try to evade law
enforcement by exploiting the cultural and linguistic
characteristics they share with these communities. By working
with law enforcement to make their communities immune from
terrorism, they can become a critical component of a national
deterrence strategy. This approach not only produces stronger
community relationships, it also results in more effective
The third, very important lesson I have learned is this. We
cannot indiscriminately target, arrest, profile, detain,
fingerprint and harass this community in the morning and then
ask them to partner with us to thwart terrorism in the
afternoon. If we need community tips to thwart terrorism--and
we do--particularly home-grown terrorism, then we cannot
continue to engage in racial profiling, a practice which
alienates and angers the communities.
The fourth lesson I have learned is that truly smart
policing involves the strategic and intelligent use of
information to target individuals based on their behavior.
Successful behavioral assessment systems have been developed
and used in a variety of settings.
The fifth lesson I have learned is this. To prevent
profiling, you need to collect data on the race and ethnicity
of those stopped and searched. I urge this Committee to support
Federal legislation that would require law enforcement agencies
to collect data on the stops and the seizures they conduct.
This would allow agencies and officials to monitor their own
conduct and evaluate whether a department, or officers within
it, are engaged in profiling. Why? Because we cannot possibly
manage what we do not measure.
And the final lesson I have learned is that effective
community-oriented policing and data collection efforts need to
have a proper infrastructure to succeed. Thus, we need
congressional funding for an academic center to guide and
implement these ideas that will improve the quality of policing
in this country.
Thank you. I welcome your comments.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Ramirez follows:]
Prepared Statement of Deborah Ramirez
Mr. Nadler. Thank you.
I will now recognize Mr. Singh for 5 minutes.
TESTIMONY OF AMARDEEP SINGH, PROGRAM DIRECTOR, SIKH COALITION
Mr. Singh. I would like to wholeheartedly thank the
leadership of this Committee, Chairman Conyers and Chairman
Nadler, and the Members of this Committee, for the opportunity
to appear before you today.
The topic we discuss today has vital implications for the
safety of all Americans and our freedom as Americans. To be
direct, my humble submission today is that the use by law
enforcement of classifications based on race, national origin,
religion or ethnicity has severely undermined both our liberty
and our safety. As the experience of the Sikh American
community makes clear, profiling is invariably inaccurate,
inevitably misused and ultimately detrimental to the important
work of our men and women in uniform.
In short, we profile, we lose.
By way of background, I am the co-founder and director of
programs at the Sikh Coalition. The Sikh Coalition was founded
on 9/11 in the wake of the ugly torrent of hate crimes and
misguided discrimination against our community. I say Sikh
Americans have endured misguided discrimination, because our
community has had no association whatsoever with the people and
the organization that attacked our country on 9/11.
Yet, since 9/11, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of
Sikhs have endured enhanced screening at airports across
America. These screenings occur after a Sikh has already
successfully passed through a metal detector. They are
conducted in full public view, usually in a segregated glass
box. It involves a public pat-down of a Sikh's turban, and at
times even its removal.
One Sikh who was affected by this enhanced screening is
Narinder Singh, a member of the Sikh Coalition's board of
directors. Narinder was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He
is a Wharton School of Business MBA who co-founded a technology
company in the Silicon Valley which employs hundreds of
Americans. His wife is a doctoral student at Harvard. He is
also a frequent air traveler. He has flown this year over 30
times alone for business.
By his estimate, he has been pulled aside for enhanced
screening more than 27 times. Amazingly, the TSA expends time
and effort on these screenings of Sikhs, even though there are
no Sikhs who are considered a threat to the security of the
United States. Rather than better focus our efforts, the Sikh
Coalition has found that at some airports, Sikhs are pulled
aside for extra screening 100 percent of the time.
Yet, experience tells us that there is no reliable profile
of a terrorist who would do our country harm. Consider the
picture that I have put up there for your consideration and in
my testimony. With the exception of the Sikh gentleman who is
pictured, all four of the other people have either completed or
have been accused of engaging in terrorism against the United
States in the past 2 months.
The Sikh picture here is an enlisted officer in the United
States Army. Sadly, none of this matters to the TSA officers
who have subjected this Sikh Army officer and patriot to
multiple enhanced screenings across the country. Perhaps this
is why NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly; former Department of
Homeland Security secretary, Michael Chertoff; former director
of the CIA, General Michael Hayden; and the chief of security
for Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, have all declared
profiling to be ineffective and even dangerous to the security
of our country.
Yet despite these declarations, profiling occurs rampantly,
as the Sikh experience demonstrates. Unfortunately, like many
law enforcement officers, TSA officers have extremely wide
discretion to pull aside whoever they choose, with little to no
oversight and accountability. Should it surprise us then that
from February 2003 to September 2003, Nathaniel Heatwole, a
White college student, was able to smuggle box cutters,
matches, bleach and razor blades onto planes in the United
This is what happens when we lose our focus on behaviors
and instead focus on external appearances. We profile, we lose.
We are tired of hearing from law enforcement that profiling is
ineffective, while their officers often engage in profiling
every day. This double-speak needs to end.
What is necessary to combat profiling is an effective law
that allows for two simple yet powerful means of addressing
profiling directly: one, a system of data collection that
provides the public with insight into who is being stopped and
whether the stop yields an arrest; and two, an individual right
of action in a court of law to bring claims of profiling.
Without these protections we end up with what is effectively
collective punishment for minority communities in the United
What do I mean by collective punishment? Consider the
picture to my left. This is a picture of my 18-month-old son,
Azaad. His name means ``freedom.'' He is a third generation of
Americans in our family.
This past April, my family and I were coming back to the
United States from a family vacation. At Fort Lauderdale
Airport, not only was I subjected to extra screening, but so
was my son. I was sadly forced to take my son Azaad into the
infamous glass box so that he could be patted down. He cried
while I held him.
He did not know who that stranger was who patted him down.
His bag was also thoroughly searched. His Elmo book number one
was searched. His Elmo book number two was searched. His mini-
mail truck that he loves was searched.
The time spent waiting for me to grab him as he ran through
the glass box was wasted time. The time going through his baby
books was wasted time.
I am not sure what I am going to tell him when he is old
enough and asks why his father and his grandfather and soon
him--Americans all three--are constantly stopped by the TSA 100
percent of the time at some airports.
It is not fair. It is not safe. It is not American. There
is something wrong with a system that will allow a Sikh baby
and his bag to be searched for 15 minutes, but allows Nathaniel
Heatwole to pass through security six separate times with box
cutters and dangerous liquids.
This Subcommittee and this Congress has the power to stop
this Groundhog's Day dynamic of profiling by enacting landmark
legislation to address this. In the process, we will make
America not only safer, but better.
I thank you for your time and consideration.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Singh follows:]
Prepared Statement of Amardeep Singh
Mr. Nadler. Thank you.
And I now recognize Professor Harris.
TESTIMONY OF DAVID A. HARRIS, PROFESSOR OF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF
PITTSBURGH SCHOOL OF LAW
Mr. Harris. Good afternoon, Chairman Nadler, Chairman
Conyers, Members of the Subcommittee. It is a great honor for
me to be here to speak with you today.
We have to end racial profiling in this country, because
doing so will help us create a sustained public safety gain and
at the same time protect the civil rights of all the people in
Now, some people will tell you that those two things do not
go together, that one must trade civil rights for safety. That
is wrong. That is not the American way. And it is not correct
on any dimension.
We talk about racial profiling. We have had a number of
definitions today. Mine is this: Racial profiling is the use of
race or ethnic appearance as one factor among others--not the
only factor, but one factor among others--in deciding who to
stop, search, frisk or question.
Now, the reason that some proponents of this practice think
this is a good idea, they think it will give police a boost.
They think it will give them an edge. They think that it will
target the ``right'' people, because, after all, we know who
the criminals are. We know who the terrorists are, what they
look like, what demographic groups they come from. And
therefore, it gives them a way to target the right people.
Therefore, that will make our police and our national
security efforts much more effective. We will hit more often.
We will find more drugs and more guns.
But the data across the country--different departments,
different studies--the data is quite clear; that is incorrect.
When race or ethnic appearance are used as one factor among
others in deciding who to stop, frisk, search, or whatever,
when that is done, the rate of hits, the rate of success for
police goes down. It does not go up. It does not even stay the
same. It goes down. It drops off, and measurably so.
Why is this? It goes back to one of the comments from
another member of the panel.
If you want to find people who are busy committing, or
might commit serious crime or terrorism, you want to know who
is in the car with the drug load, or who has got the weapon in
the airport, the only thing that predicts that is behavior.
Behavior is what the police and the security services must
focus on like a laser beam. Anything that takes their attention
off of that is a net loss.
Now, they may still look at behavior as they pay attention
to race, but race is, as Professor Withrow said, a distracter.
You want to describe a person who has been seen by a witness,
great. Race is a good way to describe somebody. It does not
predict anything worthwhile.
Now, what are the public safety implications of this?
Number one, if we can move our police departments away from
profiling race and ethnicity and toward things like behavior
profiling, like using intelligence and information in a smart
way, like community policing, we will increase public safety.
So, this is not simply a matter of being nice to people.
This is about everybody's public safety from crime and
Number two, return to the idea of community policing--words
that get said in every city and town around the country--
central principle of community policing. The central principle
is that communities and police work together as partners, as
Professor Ramirez said. That is it. That is ground zero for
that tactic, and it has been incredibly successful across the
Now, if you want to have a partnership, you have to trust
each other. And if you trust each other, you exchange
information. The community can give police information, can
give anti-terrorism forces information. This is exactly what
happened in Lackawanna, New York. That is the way that case was
If, on the other hand, you put the focus on the community
by using profiling, if everybody is a suspect, what will happen
is that trust will be replaced by fear. And fear cuts off
communication. No communication, no information, less
successful law enforcement, less public safety.
Now, what is the part of civil rights enforcement in this
whole scheme of things? There is no reason that we should have
to give up or be told that we need to give up our civil rights
in order to have public safety.
National legislation is needed on this to increase public
safety, and because not all states or all police departments
have come to grips with this, frankly. And plenty of Americans
are living in towns and in states that do not have effective
anti-profiling laws or anti-profiling policies.
On top of that, the United States Supreme Court has behind
it two decades of decisions which vastly increased the
discretion of police as far as drivers of vehicles, passengers
in vehicles, pedestrians--police have vast discretion in
situations like this.
Now, there is nothing wrong with our police officers having
discretion. They have to have it. We want them to have it, but
we want them to use it fairly.
And the lesson of the last 20 years is, when discretion is
wide open, as the Supreme Court has charted the course for, you
get profiling--not in every police department and not every
police officer, but some places you get profiling. So, national
legislation is necessary on this.
Its time has come, and it is a great honor to talk to you
about it today. I look forward to your questions. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Harris follows:]
Prepared Statement of David A. Harris
Mr. Nadler. Thank you.
And finally, I recognize Ms. Khera for 5 minutes.
TESTIMONY OF FARHANA KHERA, PRESIDENT AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
Ms. Khera. Thank you. Mr. Nadler and Members of the
Committee, good afternoon.
I appreciate this opportunity to testify on a very
important topic of racial and religious profiling. I will focus
my comments on FBI and Customs and Border Protection activities
that target American Muslims.
As we heard Chief Burbank testify, law enforcement has a
solemn duty to not only protect the American people, but to do
so consistent with the rights and protections guaranteed by the
Constitution for all Americans regardless of race, ethnicity or
religion, and Congress must ensure that they do so.
American Muslims today, however, face less than equal
treatment by Federal law enforcement in our everyday lives when
we travel, log on to the Internet or enter a mosque to pray. We
worry that we will be monitored, interrogated--or worse,
arrested and detained--by government agents for no reason at
Let me be clear. I am not referring to legitimate
investigations of criminal activity. I am referring to sweeping
questioning, searches and other investigative activities that
target innocent Americans in groups.
Our Nation has not seen such widespread abuse since J.
Edgar Hoover era. It is wrong, it is counterproductive, and it
So, how did we get here? In 2001, after the horrific
attacks on our Nation, Congress was understandably eager to
help law enforcement do its job. The USA PATRIOT Act was
enacted, but it went too far. It granted new, overly broad
powers to the FBI to not only investigate criminal activity,
but to snoop on innocent Americans.
That same year, the FBI launched the first in a series of
so-called voluntary interview programs targeting Muslim and
Arab Americans for questioning. Director Mueller also
instructed each of the FBI's 56 field offices to count the
number of mosques and Muslim charities in their area and create
a demographic profile.
The word was out. From here on, agents would not be
promoted based on their investigations of drug trafficking,
mortgage fraud or other criminal cases. No. Whether you were an
agent in Iowa or New York, the paramount focus would be
counter-terrorism, and you would sink or swim in the bureau
based on cultivating forces and informants, opening
investigations and developing cases targeting the Muslim
In December 2008, the FBI memorialized this new way of
doing business in a revised set of investigative guidelines.
Where did this lead us? By the end of 2005, Michael
Rolince, the former head of the Washington office of the FBI,
said that the FBI had conducted nearly 500,000 interviews of
Arab and Muslim Americans, and not a single one of these
interviews yielded information that would have led the FBI to
get in front of the 9/11 attacks.
Undeterred, the FBI was well on its way to aggressively
developing informants and infiltrating mosques and community
Today, the FBI also monitors Facebook and the Internet.
Can you imagine attending your church or synagogue and
wondering whether the FBI is peering over your shoulder while
you pray? Can you imagine thinking twice before posting a news
article on your Facebook, because it just might prompt an FBI
visit to your home or workplace? That is the reality for many
Muslim Advocates hears from American Muslims on a regular
basis who are seeking guidance, because they have received a
surprise visit at their home or workplace by the FBI with
questions about their religious practice, political views or
involvement in community organizations.
These actions, which create fear, stigmatize individuals in
groups, chill First Amendment protected activities and
sometimes even jeopardize jobs, have been taking place, not
based on any evidence of wrongdoing, but based on race,
religious and ethnic discrimination, plain and simple.
But the FBI is not the only problem. If you have the
misfortune of being Muslim at the border, there is a good
chance you will be stopped by a Customs and Border Protection
agent before returning home and asked questions that have
nothing to do with the purpose of your international travel--
such as, what mosque do you attend, how often do you pray?
Can you imagine being asked what church or synagogue you
attend, or how often you pray, by a Federal agent? You are
probably thinking, that is none of the government's business--
and it is protected by the First Amendment. In the America I
grew up in, that certainly would have been the case.
But for me and countless other Muslim Americans today, it
is not as simple as telling an agent it is none of their
business. The consequences of being Muslim at the border are
frightening and fraught with peril.
Take, for example, the case of one prominent community
leader returning home from Canada at a land crossing near
Detroit. He and his wife were dragged from their car,
handcuffed and detained in front of their young daughters, who
were 1 and 3 years old at the time. To this day, his eldest
daughter recoils in fear when she sees someone in uniform,
afraid that he or she will do harm to her family.
Is this the kind of relationship we want law enforcement
developing with Muslim Americans young and old, one based on
fear and mistrust? More importantly, is this the country we
aspire to be? I certainly hope not.
Members of the Committee, racial and religious profiling is
not only contrary to our Nation's guarantee of equal justice
under the law, it also yields negative results. Discriminatory
policing diverts valuable resources from legitimate
investigations. It erodes trust between the community and law
enforcement, jeopardizing the vital relationship needed to
counter actual criminal activity.
Simply put, racial and religious profiling is bad policing.
Thank you for the opportunity to present the views of
Muslim Advocates. I look forward to your questions.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Khera follows:]
Prepared Statement of Farhana Khera
Mr. Nadler. I thank you very much. And I will recognize
Members for 5 minutes of questioning apiece in the order in
which they are here.
I will begin with myself for 5 minutes.
First of all, Mr. Shelton, New York City faced a class
action lawsuit alleging racial profiling during Terry stops
conducted in the 5-year period from 2004 to 2009. Among the
nearly three million Terry stops during that period, about one-
and-a-half million were of African Americans, nearly 900,000
were Hispanics and under 300,000 were of non-Hispanic Whites.
Do you believe that that statistical disparity alone is
indicative of the presence of racial profiling? Or do you need
some more evidence to say that there is racial profiling?
Mr. Shelton. Well, you certainly need more evidence than
that. One of the issues you would want to look at is the hit
rate; that is, how often those stops resulted in some kind of a
paraphernalia or other illegal substance being found on people.
What we find is that, when you have this kind of massive
approach to stops, that you see that the number of hits
actually declined. That is, look at the number of stops versus
the number of hits. You find that it is even more
The issue that we need to look at a little closer, and
actually, we need to have legislation to actually collect data
on how often those stops result in the actual commission of a
crime. In this case, I think you will find in the case of New
York City, it was abysmal.
Mr. Nadler. Thank you.
Chief Burbank, is there any way for an officer to
differentiate a documented immigrant from an undocumented one
without checking their papers?
Chief Burbank. Absolutely not. And that is the question
behind this whole thing. There is no way that I can perceive,
and especially teaching a new recruit, this is an individual
that is documented, and this is one that is not, and----
Mr. Nadler. Without looking at the papers.
Chief Burbank [continuing]. Absence of asking for
Mr. Nadler. So, you believe that there is a danger that any
immigrant could be singled out under these new laws, since
there is no way to determine short of checking papers who is
documented or undocumented?
Chief Burbank. Not only any immigrant, but any U.S. citizen
who is of a different race or ethnicity will be questioned.
There is no way that a law enforcement official, especially as
we talk about fairness, can conduct that business without.
Mr. Nadler. So, in the Southwest, Hispanic immigrants will
be disproportionately affected, for example.
Chief Burbank. Absolutely.
Mr. Nadler. And obviously, you believe, since you testified
to it, that cooperation between the police and the community is
Chief Burbank. There are stories across the country. The
impact on my community alone, just from the thought of
immigration laws going into effect that officers would enforce,
have diminished the relationship that exists between the Salt
Lake City P.D. and the communities that we serve----
Mr. Nadler. And obviously, it breaks down the trust between
a community and the law enforcement personnel when a law
instructs the police essentially to single out a group because
they are slightly more likely to be in the country without
Chief Burbank. Absolutely.
Mr. Nadler. Now, given the study co-authored by Professor
Goff and yourself on attitudes toward SB81 in Utah, is there
reason to believe that co-deputizing police to act as
immigration officials will negatively affect community
cooperation with police, both inside and outside the immigrant
Chief Burbank. Yes. And in fact, the research conducted by
Dr. Goff indicates that not only would Latino individuals be
less likely to report crimes and participate with the police,
but also, our White residents are less likely to report crimes,
especially involving drug crimes, if they perceive that the
police are biased or interjecting bias into their operations.
Mr. Nadler. Thank you.
Now, as I mentioned a moment ago, New York City has
recently come under fire for the volume of Terry stop and frisk
that they have carried out in recent years, and particularly
for the overwhelming percentage of these stops that are devoted
to African American and Hispanic people.
Some have argued that judicious use of police resources
necessitate the higher law enforcement presence in high crime
neighborhoods, which often happen to be lower income and
primarily minority areas, and, therefore, that the higher
percentage of African American and Hispanic stops does not
indicate racial profiling, but simply that the police are
putting their resources where the crimes are.
Do you think this--what would you observe of this
Chief Burbank. I agree with Mr. Shelton on this. More
research needs to be conducted.
And that is really what our aim was with Dr. Goff and the
CPLE, was, in fact, to get to the underlying fact. We need to
move from racial profiling to biased policemen, because it is
not just a matter of do we stop people at an unequal rate or
inappropriate rate, but what are the actions that we take
afterwards as far as arrests, citations, search, seizure--all
those things that are involved. It takes much more than
population benchmarking to determine the action, whether
appropriate or not of police officers.
Mr. Nadler. Thank you.
Now, Professor Ramirez, you have advocated for a
requirement that police departments catalogue their stops of
citizens. New York City, as I mentioned, has done so. And over
the last 5 years, they have disproportionately stopped African
American and Hispanic people, and they have documented that
they have done that.
Is this, by definition, enough to cause--is this by
definition cause to accuse the NYPD of racial profiling, or is
simply to indicate the necessity of more research?
Ms. Ramirez. By itself, disproportionate stopping does not
indicate racial profiling. But as others have said, you want to
look at the hit rate. You want to look at what happened after
the stop. Was there a search? Was there arrest? Were there
And also, you want to know what the demographics were of
the underlying population. If they are Terry stops on the
street, you want to know what was the street population like.
What percentage of people who were on the street were Latino,
White, Black and Hispanic?
And if you are doing these studies with the police, as
opposed to doing them as historical documenting of activity
that occurred in the past, you can disaggregate for particular
initiatives that the community wants.
For example, if you are doing a data collection system with
the community, and the community says, look. We have a problem
with Sunday mornings. There are races among Latino youth drag
racing in a particular part of town, and we want you to be
stopping those people. Or there is an African American bar that
gets out at midnight, and we want you to stop drunk drivers at
the White bars that get out at midnight, as well as the African
You can disaggregate that and come up with a meaningful
measure of whether it is profiling, by looking at what was the
purpose of the law enforcement initiative, what were the racial
When we have done this, even disaggregating for those
instances where there was a need in high crime areas, or in
predominantly Latino or Black areas, for special enforcement
efforts, we still found evidence of racial profiling. And what
I have been advocating for is a national center focused on how
do you train statisticians to do appropriate statistical
How do you get the research done to get appropriate
benchmarks for the data, whether it is disproportionate
stopping or not? And how do we create best practices and
promising practices for the research that needs to be done in
Mr. Nadler. Thank you. My time has expired.
I will now recognize the distinguished Chairman of the full
Committee, the gentleman from Michigan.
Mr. Conyers. Thank you, Chairman Nadler.
We have in the audience Professor Richard Winchester from
the Thomas Jefferson Law School in San Diego. And we are
pleased that he is with us for this important hearing.
And we also have our former Judiciary Member, Keith Ellison
of Minnesota, with us. And with your permission, I would like
to yield him my time.
Mr. Nadler. Without objection.
Mr. Ellison. Let me thank the Chairman of the Judiciary
Committee. It is certainly a pleasure to be back at the
And Chairman Nadler, I thank you, as well as the Ranking
I will just take just a few questions--not take, ask--a few
What do you think some of the essential features of
proposed legislation would include? What do you think needs to
be in there to address this issue of profiling?
I ask anyone on the Committee.
Mr. Harris. My thoughts, congressman, would be data
collection, provisions for best practices in policing. We know
a lot that we did not know 15 years ago about what works in
policing. And we want to give incentives for those things to be
done, requirements that there be a policy in each department,
that there be training centers for that training, funds for
that training. I think those would be good starting points.
I want to make clear that what we are looking for is a
national set of standards and practices. We are past the point,
I think, when the debate is about whether this ever happens.
Now, it is about what we do and how we go forward. And I think
all those things could contribute.
Mr. Shelton. If I might add, in addition, certainly, the
reporting mechanism needs to be one that is independent of the
police departments themselves. We have run into problems that
people wanted to report the misbehavior of police officers and
actually being punished in that process, as well.
So, I certainly strongly agree with Professor Harris and
would offer it for your additional----
Ms. Ramirez. If I could also just add to that, I totally
agree with my colleagues. And I would just also add, a
meaningful redress mechanism in terms of a right of action, I
think is absolutely required, as well, in terms of seeking
injunctive relief so that people who are aggrieved can go to
the courts, do have a way to go to the courts eventually, if
need be, to actually seek redress.
And if I might add, in addition to legislation, the End
Racial Profiling Act, I think Congress can also play an
important job in helping to hold law enforcement, especially at
the Federal level, accountable, too. And there is certainly a
need for greater transparency in terms of the authority Federal
law enforcement is using, whether it is by the FBI or Customs
and Border Protection.
What is happening with the information that is being
collected? How is it being stored? How is it being shared? And
there are a lot of questions and not enough disclosure.
Mr. Ellison. There sometimes is a problem between what
police leadership, or any leader might agree to and want to
see, and how it is actually carried out on the ground. If we
were to pass legislation regarding racial profiling, we may
well get leaders of law enforcement throughout the country to
agree with everybody on the panel.
How do we make sure that it gets really--it really gets to
the officer who is going to be facing that motorist or that
Mr. Harris. Training--the mantra in police work. If you
want things to change, it will come down to training. But it is
not only training. You have to have a policy that reflects what
the department is really about. There has to be supervision on
the job of what people are actually doing on the street. People
must be trained in the policy and know what is expected of
them. And then there has to be accountability.
You put those four elements together, and the leadership
makes clear that it means it, they are going to hold people
accountable, I would not say you can change all the hearts and
minds, but I will take their behavior. That would be enough.
Mr. Ellison. Mr. Singh?
Mr. Singh. I would just add that, in terms of getting this
to the front-line officers, it is critical that we, as Farhana
had said, have a private right of action.
I think the beauty of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is that
it actually took the enforcement mechanism straight to the
people. The people had an ability to bring a suit in court and
say that I have been discriminated against in the workplace, I
have been discriminated against at a place of public
accommodation. That we have that private right of action, I
think it creates a very strong incentive for police departments
to comply, because the people actually are able to enforce the
promise of an End Racial Profiling Act.
Mr. Ellison. I like the idea of a private right of action
tool. But I also am curious about whether or not--how we can
get officers on the line to really embrace this, because again,
it does enhance public safety.
How do we--I mean, a private right of action is, I think,
necessary, but it is adversarial. What about the other way
around, to get officers on the line saying, ``You know what? It
is better for me to just deal with behavior, rather than just
ethnic and religious factors, because it makes me a better
Ms. Ramirez? Professor Ramirez, excuse me.
Ms. Ramirez. I think the training piece has to be focused
exactly on the issue that you are presenting, not just
educating officers, but showing them, based on the research,
why it is in their interest to do this. And that means you have
to expand the training to include community policing.
What do they get out of this? How can they be more
effective officers? How can it improve their safety, in traffic
stops, particularly, something they are interested?
And the demographics and the research that we have been
talking about at this table have not been widely disseminated
to officers on the street. They need to see the statistics.
And when you actually work with the police department and
show them what they are doing, in what ways it is
counterproductive and how they can improve, and then you
continue to collect data to show them what happens when they
switch, for example, from a race-based profile to behavioral
profiling, that is when I think you get them engaged in the
But the kind of profiling study that is going to get police
engaged is not a ``gotcha'' historical study, but a study that
they are engaged with from the beginning. You sit down with
them and together you collaboratively decide what data you are
going to collect, how you are going to collect it, how you are
going to analyze it, and have a conversation around that. And
that conversation has to be a non-public conversation.
Mr. Ellison. Thank you very much.
Mr. Nadler. Thank you.
I will now recognize the gentleman from Georgia, Mr.
Mr. Johnson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this very
Yesterday I was reading about a multi-count Federal
indictment against some White guys who ride around on
motorcycles and they wear leather vests. Probably most of them
have beards and probably shaggy hair. And based on that Federal
indictment, multi-state, I hope, I sincerely hope that we do
not have a period where every White guy riding around on a
motorcycle wearing a leather vest is stopped to find out
whether or not he is a legal citizen or whether or not he is
guilty of some kind of criminal offense.
But unfortunately now in this country, we have a situation
that has arisen under Federal law. The Immigration and
Nationality Act, section 287(g), authorizes the Federal
Government to enter into agreements with state and local
enforcement agencies, permitting designated officers to perform
immigration law enforcement functions.
So in short, they are, since it is against the law to be in
the country illegally, if a law enforcement officer operating
under 287(g) has a reasonable suspicion that someone is an
illegal immigrant, then that officer has a constitutional right
to stop that person, because they are violating the law.
Now, you stop them whether or not they are in a car or
walking down a public street, or behind a house barbequing, or
even if the law enforcement officer is legally at a location
where he can peer into a window, say, at the local barbershop,
and you see someone who looks like they could be an illegal
immigrant. Then you can go and pull the person out of the
barbershop and say, ``Look, show me proof that you are a legal
immigrant.'' Now, that is kind of scary under 287(g).
And it is exacerbated by the Arizona law that has been
signed into effect, which requires people to walk around--or
again at the barbershop--have proof of citizenship. So, police
in Arizona, if they think that you are--if they feel that they
have a--if they have a reasonable suspicion that you may be an
illegal immigrant, they can stop you and ask you for your
And, you know, this is where we have come as a society.
Because if it can happen to the Latino, to a person such as
you, Professor Ramirez, who--you look like you could have some
Indian blood. You look like you could be Honduran. You look
like you could perhaps be from Mexico or Colombia, you know,
someplace--you know, I feel like you speak Spanish.
So, I think that you would be a prime target to be jacked
up, just like you have been, Mr. Singh, but not just at the
airport, but on the street doing your own business, taking care
of your business, walking the dog.
And so, this is where we are as a society. And so, that is
what makes this hearing so very important, because we are used
to freedom. We are used to non-discrimination.
And so, when you can single out someone based on a
characteristic, a visible characteristic--well, that person is
obviously Black right there, or that person is obviously a
White boy riding on a motorcycle wearing a vest, or this person
is obviously a Muslim, or this person is obviously Hispanic--
when we start doing these things, it hurts us all, because the
White boys riding a motorcycle do not think it is going to
happen to them. But if we allow it to happen to one segment,
then it certainly can mushroom into something that hurts us
And so, I guess my question would be, chief, what kind of
impact does the 287(g) program have on the ability of law
enforcement officers to protect citizens in areas populated by
Chief Burbank. Well, sir, the points that you made go to my
reason for not being cross-deputized as a civil immigration
enforcement. And that is the important thing here.
Immigration law at the Federal level is a civil penalty.
You can detain and deport. Nowhere else in law does local law
enforcement get involved in civil enforcement. So, one, that is
the first problem that exists.
The other is the fact, this notion that reasonable
suspicion to stop somebody--I do not know how you get
reasonable suspicion without action. That is what we base our
profession on. And when you talk about status, immigration
status, about the only thing that comes to mind that I can
think of rises to reasonable suspicion is to stand on the
border and watch somebody run from the border. That gives you
reasonable suspicion, based on their actions.
Absent race or ethnicity, you cannot get to reasonable
suspicion that somebody is undocumented in this country. And
that is where police officers should not move. And it is very
problematic for us to engage in that sort of behavior, because
we lose sight of criminal action, we lose sight of actions that
generates probable cause to make good criminal cases, when we
rely on race and ethnicity as the basis for our stop.
Mr. Johnson. Thank you.
If there is a rapist and a child molester running amongst
and running amok in a Latino neighborhood, would a program such
as 287(g) have a chilling effect on a resident reporting
criminal activity such as that?
Chief Burbank. Absolutely. And we have seen that time and
time again across the country.
There are examples of individuals that failed to report
criminal activity, or failed to report that they are the victim
of criminal activity, for fear of deportation, or fear of
deportation for family members. And so, it does have a chilling
Mr. Johnson. Thank you, and----
Mr. Nadler. Before the gentleman yields back, would he
yield to me for a moment?
Mr. Johnson. Certainly.
Mr. Nadler. Thank you.
Chief Burbank, you said that aside from standing at the
border and seeing someone run away from it, there would be
nothing that you could think of that would yield reasonable
suspicion that someone is an undocumented immigrant. If someone
was stopped for legitimate--if someone driving a car was
stopped for legitimate reasons, whatever--and have no documents
whatever on him or her, this would also not be grounds for
Chief Burbank. Well, if someone is stopped, the privilege
to drive requires a driver's license.
Mr. Nadler. And let us assume he did not have the driver's
license or anything else.
Chief Burbank. Well, okay. But then you have suspicion to
believe that that individual has committed a crime of driving
without a driver's license, and that warrants further
And so, potentially, and in the state of Utah currently, if
someone is booked into the jail, they check the status of
individuals. But the officer should not rely on the color of
their skin unless we are moving--and again, this is what is
scary--if we are moving to the point that every single person
in society is going to carry a card that said, I am this,
right, then we do not have the basis to do that.
Mr. Nadler. We do not want to see the thing we see in the
movie, ``papers, please.''
Chief Burbank. Absolutely not.
Mr. Nadler. Thank you.
Mr. Johnson. And I yield back.
Mr. Nadler. Thank you.
And I now recognize the gentlelady from Texas.
Ms. Jackson Lee. Chairman, thank you very much.
It is only in a place as hallowed as this Judiciary
Committee that a Chairman such as yourself will be willing to
hold a hearing on what mostly is an unpopular topic. And some
would argue that we finished that work and we need to move on.
And I believe it is evident that we cannot move on.
Some of us will be celebrating Juneteenth. And in some
remarks about the history of that particular time, I commented
that the work continues. And if in the instance of 1865,
General Granger had ceased to be persistent and determined, a
whole body of people would still be, some might imagine, not
So, I think it is important for this Committee to continue,
as Chairman Nadler and Chairman Conyers has granted us the
privilege of doing. And certainly, I note my colleagues on the
other side of the aisle have a definitive interest in their
absence. I am sure they are very committed. And we look forward
to providing the leadership for them to follow on what may
necessarily be changes.
If I might quickly ask questions. And thank you, Mr.
Shelton, for the NAACP's continued persistence in going all
over the country, a personal appreciation to President Jealous
for accepting the call to Texas, that was proclaimed free in
1865, but the board of education for the state determined we
were not by recharacterizing our history books.
Personally, I hope that we will be in a posture to file
suit. But convey again to Mr. Jealous of my appreciation.
Can you quickly reconcile the tension between the ability
of an officer to take advantage of a complicated traffic law to
create an escalating encounter with a driver and develop
probable cause, which did not exist at the time of the stop,
and the protections extended by the Fourth Amendment against
unreasonable search and seizure? It is a complicated question,
but if you can be as quick as possible. And it somewhat refers
to the Arizona law that is abominable.
Mr. Shelton. Absolutely. If there is a display of
misbehavior, that indeed the law has been infracted, then
indeed there is a probable cause to pull one over. And
certainly, part of that process is asking for a driver's
license. Most if not every state in our country requires a
driver's license in your possession at the time you are
operating a motor vehicle.
Ms. Jackson Lee. And that is existing law----
Mr. Shelton. Exactly.
Ms. Jackson Lee [continuing]. Without the Arizona law.
Mr. Shelton. That is exactly right.
So, if you are going to the issue of the Arizona law, the
Arizona law is not only not helpful at all, as a matter of
fact, it is even more problematic. Indeed, if we talk about the
Arizona law, what the NAACP has learned over our years is that,
in order for law enforcement to be effective, they must first
have the trust and a perception of integrity by those they
serve. I think Chief Burbank did an excellent job of outlining
much of that.
Whether I have talked to Attorney General Janet Reno under
the Clinton administration, Attorney General John Ashcroft
under the Bush administration, or Attorney General Eric Holder
under the Obama administration, they all agree on one central
fact. And that is, in order for law enforcement to be effective
in preventing crime or solving crime after it has been
committed, then indeed they must have the trust of the
communities they serve.
If you will not talk to them before a crime is committed,
then you cannot prevent it from happening. If people in the
communities do not trust you, after a crime has been committed
you cannot gather the evidence necessary to prosecute.
Ms. Jackson Lee. And there may be the potential of
unreasonable search and seizure inasmuch as you can stop a
person not for the basic law that we have, you have a traffic
infraction, but because of the color of your skin or the car
you are driving, or maybe the music that is on your radio. And
so, the probable cause is questionable.
Mr. Shelton. Yes, indeed. Yes, it would be. As a matter of
fact, it is an amazing thing----
Ms. Jackson Lee. And I am not going to cut you off, but I
have other questions, so if you want to finish your final
Mr. Shelton. No, I will let you go on. I will take all of
your time if you let me.
Ms. Jackson Lee. Thank you for that basic answer.
This is going to go to Professor Ramirez and Mr. Singh and
Ms. Ramirez, I think--I am on Homeland Security. And one of
the things that we have talked about is the whole question of
behavioral versus the racial profiling. If you can quickly
answer the value of that, because I begin to look at Mr. Singh,
and I look at Ms.--I am trying to get it right here, my paper
is away--Khera. And I would imagine there would be Muslim
prayers, his attire, and I hope he will speak to that, not
because I have asked.
And so, the question is, is behavior the right way? I think
behavior is good for the terrorist design, meaning that
behavior connected to terrorists overseas, what is on your
computer, et cetera, there are no other problems with that. But
the question is, how do you work with that tension, so that
behavior also is not profiling?
Ms. Ramirez. I know that at Logan Airport they have been
experimenting with a series of behavioral profiles and
assessments, very successfully. And they have used it in tandem
with a random number generator. And the random number generator
just generates random numbers, and if your number comes up, you
No criminal or terrorist organization can beat a random
number generator, because it is random. So, that is part of
what their success is. And the other part is focusing on
Behavior can be abnormal travel plans, an abnormal travel
agenda. It can be the way the person is conducting themselves.
But it is not focused on race, ethnicity or religion. They are
really moving away from that.
Ms. Jackson Lee. Can I get the last two witnesses, just
quickly, to answer the thought of behavior and the whole issue
of racial profiling? Is that an option?
Mr. Singh. Sorry, congresswoman----
Ms. Jackson Lee. Is behavior an option, behavioral----
Mr. Singh. Profiling----
Ms. Jackson Lee [continuing]. Their behavior? Or does that
incorporate actions of people who are attired differently, or
doing their prayers, public prayers? Is that also a dangerous
Mr. Singh. If the behavior that is focused on is simply my
religious practice, wearing a turban or praying, then I would
find that very problematic. The behaviors that have to be the
focus of law enforcement scrutiny is criminal behavior, actions
that actually would indicate that you are about to do
something, or in the planning stages of doing something that is
But merely wearing religious dress, or merely praying, in
and of itself is not a crime. In fact, it is protected by the
First Amendment of our Constitution. And I would hope that by
behavior profiling we do not mean behavior being Muslim or
Ms. Jackson Lee. Ms. Khera?
Ms. Khera. Thank you for that question, congresswoman.
We support a behavior focus. But I think the devil is in
the detail, so, which I think gets to the point of your
question. And I would say, where it is really important is in
training and having an audit mechanism. So, ensuring that those
officers are understanding, so that they are not singling
people out based on religious practice, prayer, speaking
Arabic, et cetera.
And also what is really important is the audit mechanism.
And that is where the data collection piece is absolutely
critical, so that the higher-ups, the supervisors, the heads of
agencies can determine whether the policies they have enacted
to actually focus on behavior is actually being played out on
Ms. Jackson Lee. So, as I yield back, racial profiling is
active and alive, and it needs a frontal attack that is
balanced and responsive to extinguishing it as it discriminates
against people, simply because they exist.
Thank you. I yield back.
Mr. Nadler. Thank you.
And finally, I recognize the gentlelady from California.
Ms. Chu. Thank you so much, Mr. Chair.
First, before I begin, I would like to submit the testimony
of United Sikhs for the record, which is another Sikh advocacy
organization that I work with closely on the racial profiling
[The information referred to follows:]
Ms. Chu. Well, I am--thank you--I am from California. I
have talked to so many Sikhs who have had experiences similar
to you, Mr. Singh. And I thank you for talking about the
situation so eloquently. Racial profiling is a significant
problem in connection to airport security and border crossings,
because of the mistaken impression that Sikhs are connected to
terrorism because of the turban.
Do you know of any documented case of terrorism from the
Mr. Singh. Not against the United States, Representative
Ms. Chu. And can you tell me what are the officials
policies of TSA regarding Sikhs and inspection of the turban,
versus what the actual experience is?
Mr. Singh. In theory, the TSA has an anti-profiling policy.
I would note--and this is where I think legislation is so
important--the TSA's anti-profiling policy is based on the
Department of Justice's 2003 racial guidance on profiling. The
Justice Department in 2003 guidance on racial profiling first
is merely a guidance. It does not have the force of law.
But second, it has a gaping national security loophole that
is vague and undefined. So, for reasons of national security,
the anti-profiling protections can literally be thrown away,
and in fact, they are. At many airports around the country,
Sikhs are literally screened 100 percent of the time.
And again, as you have noted in your questions, given that
our community has literally no--has not been--had any
accusation of wanting to engage in terrorism against the United
States, it shows you how foolish racial profiling is, that
officers have so much discretion that they can just pull aside
anyone who they want to pull aside, based simply on their
appearance, with no oversight and no accountability.
Ms. Chu. In fact, there are supposed to be three options.
For instance, one, it is supposed to be a private area, but
that is not followed. Is that correct?
Mr. Singh. That is right. Most air traveler passengers do
not know that they have--Sikh air travel passengers--have a
private option if they want to be screened in private.
But to be honest, it is silly that they need to have to
even ask for a private screening. They should not be
secondarily screened in the first place.
Ms. Chu. Do you know how many cases of discrimination or
complaints have been filed with TSA regarding handling of Sikh
Mr. Singh. You know, our organization has filed more than
50 individual complaints with the TSA. We have also sent them
an Excel spreadsheet where more than 200 members of our
community have complained of being profiled at the airports in
the United States.
Sadly, the TSA mechanism for reviewing these complaints is
shoddy, at best. Usually, it takes more than a year to receive
an acknowledgement that you even filed a complaint. And the
disposition of the complaint usually comes 2 years later with a
finding of no profiling in that individual case.
We are disturbed that the TSA does not look at the
complaints we have filed as part of a larger pattern or
practice, but just keeps adjudicating each single case on its
So, again, the mechanisms in place to hold the TSA
accountable are literally nonexistent. They are written on
paper and do not mean much on the ground. And that is why,
again, I think legislation is so critical to address this issue
in a way that is meaningful.
Ms. Chu. Has TSA ever acknowledged that there has been any
racial profiling with regard to Sikhs?
Mr. Singh. The TSA's constant position--and it is extremely
frustrating for our community--is that we do not profile, and
profiling is against the policy of the TSA. I am so glad the
TSA says that profiling is against their policy. But we would
like to actually see that implemented on the ground.
Ms. Chu. So, what recommendations would you have for
improving TSA policies regarding Sikhs?
Mr. Singh. I think the recommendation has to be actually a
recommendation from this Congress. We need an End Racial
Profiling Act that has a private right of action and has
meaningful data collection.
The public should actually have the information available
to it to actually see who is being stopped and whether those
stops are actually resulting in an arrest, or some indication
of criminal activity. And then that way, the public can
actually weigh the costs and benefits in an enlightened way of
whether the actions our government is taking are actually
keeping our country safe and how they square with our rights as
Ms. Chu. Mr. Chairman, I am very concerned with the way TSA
has handled complaints and requests from the Sikh community
regarding racial profiling. Not only is it discriminatory, but
it has the potential to make the Sikh community even more
skeptical and less trusting of our law enforcement officials.
And we need the full trust of all passengers in order to
maintain the safety and security of our airports and planes.
So, I would like to send a letter to TSA asking for an
audit and additional data on the racial profiling of Sikhs by
TSA employees. Actually, I would like to in fact get overall
information--a racial breakdown, basically--of the complaints
that have been filed with regard to the inspections by TSA
employees, and urge them to review their policies and improve
their training to limit this kind of discrimination.
And Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, I hope
you can join me in that effort.
Mr. Nadler. We will be happy to work with--the staff will
work with your staff on that.
Ms. Chu. Thank you.
Mr. Nadler. Would you yield to me for a second?
Ms. Chu. Yes.
Mr. Nadler. Thank you.
I want to ask Mr. Singh, as terrible as racial profiling
is, I think we understand the mistaken psychology of some
people who engage in it.
From your knowledge of the TSA, since there is no history
of Sikhs engaging in terrorism or attacks on the United States,
or anything else, why does the TSA racially profile the Sikh
Mr. Singh. I believe because their officers are given so
much discretion, that there are no proper controls for the
officers to actually review whether they are engaged in
profiling and how that affects their law enforcement functions.
There really is no great system----
Mr. Nadler. No, no. I understand all that.
Mr. Singh. Yes.
Mr. Nadler. But why the Sikh community?
Mr. Singh. Why the Sikh community? You know, Chairman
Nadler, I really do not know, given what you have just said,
given that Sikhs have not had any sort of terrorist accusation
Mr. Nadler. You would have to say just ignorance, then.
Mr. Singh. Yes, I believe it is ignorance. I believe it is
ignorance. And it goes a lot to what my distinguished panelists
have said with regard to police training and education.
Mr. Nadler. Thank you. I yield back to the gentlelady, who
was going to yield back.
Ms. Chu. Yes, I yield back.
Mr. Nadler. I thank you.
We have no further Members to ask questions.
So, without objection, all Members will have 5 legislative
days to submit to the Chair additional written questions for
the witnesses, which we will forward, and ask the witnesses to
respond as promptly as they can, so that their answers may be
made part of the record.
Without objection, all Members will have 5 legislative days
to submit any additional materials for inclusion in the record.
I want to thank the members of the panel. I want to thank
the Members generally.
And with that, this hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 3:55 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
Material Submitted for the Hearing Record