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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 9, 1999
                       COMBATING RACIAL PROFILING

                              June 9, 1999

Today, at a Department of Justice conference, President Clinton will chair a roundtable discussion with leaders from civil rights and law enforcement organizations on ways to build trust between police and the communities they serve. To address the issue of racial profiling, the President will direct federal law enforcement agencies to begin collecting and reporting data on the race, ethnicity, and gender of the individuals they stop and search. The President will also call on Congress to pass legislation to promote data collection and reporting by state and local law enforcement agencies.

Getting the Facts on Racial Profiling

     Leading by example.  No person should be targeted by law
     enforcement because of the color of his or her skin.  Stopping or
     searching individuals on the basis of race is not consistent with
     our commitment to equal justice under law and is not effective law
     enforcement policy.  Racial profiling is simply wrong.  As a
     necessary step to combat this problem, we need to learn the hard
     facts about when and where it occurs.  That is why the President
     will direct the Departments of Justice, Treasury, and the Interior 

          (1) begin collecting data on the race, ethnicity, and gender
          of individuals subject to traffic and pedestrian stops,
          inspections at entries into the U.S., and certain other
          searches by federal law enforcement agencies, including the
          Immigration and Naturalization Service, Drug Enforcement
          Agency, Customs Service, and National Park Service; and

          (2) after one year, report on the findings of the new data
          collection system and make additional recommendations based 
          on those findings on how to ensure greater fairness in 
          federal law enforcement's procedures.

     Helping states and localities.  The President also will support
     legislation introduced by Representative John Conyers (D-MI) to
     establish a new federal grant program to assist state and local law
     enforcement agencies to implement similar data collection systems.
     This legislation also will authorize the Attorney General to
     develop a nationwide sample and issue a report on the number and
     nature of traffic stops conducted by state and local enforcement
     throughout the country.

     Surveying the American public.  As recently announced by the
     Attorney General, the Justice Department this year will amend its
     National Crime Victimization Survey and begin asking Americans
     about their experiences with traffic stops, police use of force,
     and police misconduct.  This new information will help measure our
     success in building trust and improving relations between law
     enforcement and the community.

More Progressive Policing for the 21st Century

     Continuing the community policing revolution.  To make our
     communities safer and stronger, we must enhance our commitment to
     community policing.  The 21st Century Policing Initiative contained
     in the President's crime bill extends his successful community
     policing initiative and contains several measures to help
     strengthen the integrity and ethics of police forces across the
     country.  Specifically, his crime bill includes: (1) $20 million to
     expand police integrity and ethics training; (2) $20 million for
     police scholarships to promote the best educated police force
     possible; (3) $2 million for improved minority recruitment to help
     make sure police departments reflect the diversity of the
     communities they represent; (4) $10 million to help police
     departments purchase more video cameras to protect both the safety
     of officers and the rights of the individuals they stop; and (5) 
     $5 million to establish citizen police academies to engage 
     community residents in the fight against crime.



Attorney General Janet Reno
Deputy Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. Associate Attorney General Raymond C. Fisher Acting Assistant Attorney General Bill Lann Lee,

Civil Rights Division
Secretary Rodney Slater, Department of Transportation Ronald Daniels, Center for Constitutional Rights Paul Evans, Boston Police Department
Thomas Frazier, Baltimore Police Department Gilbert Gallegos, Fraternal Order of Police Richard Green, Crown Heights Youth Center Penny Harrington, National Center for Women in Policing Wade Henderson, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Antonia Hernandez, Mexican American Legal Defense &

Educational Fund
John Justice, National District Attorneys Association Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, 18th District, Texas Ken Lyons, International Brotherhood of Police Officers Kweisi Mfume, NAACP
Karen Narasaki, Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium Ron Neubauer, International Association of Chiefs of Police Professor Charles Ogletree, Harvard Law School Hugh Price, National Urban League
Robert Scully, National Association of Police Organization Rev. Al Sharpton, National Action Network Chuck Sha-King, Youth Force
Dan Smith, National Sheriff's Association Robert Stewart, National Organization of Black Law

Enforcement Executives
Christopher Stone, Vera Institute of Justice Beverly Watts-Davis, San Antonio Fighting Back Mayor Anthony Williams, District of Columbia Raul Yzaguirre, National Council of La Raza