The Justice Department released today, Dec. 8, new policies aimed to curb profiling by law enforcement based on sexual orientation, gender identity, religion and national origin, expanding on a 2003 decision to bar profiling based on race and ethnicity. You can read the new policy here.
“As Attorney General, I have repeatedly made clear that profiling by law enforcement is not only wrong, it is profoundly misguided and ineffective – because it wastes precious resources and undermines the public trust,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.
Holder said the policy is necessary especially in light of numerous recent incidents involving police brutality. “It brings enhanced training, oversight, and accountability to federal law enforcement across the country, so that isolated acts of discrimination do not tarnish the exemplary work that’s performed by the overwhelming majority of America’s hard-working law enforcement officials each and every day.”
The new guidance also applies to state and local law enforcement law officers who participate in federal law enforcement task forces.
The National Center for Transgender Equality in a statement welcomed the extension but criticized its numerous loopholes. “Discrimination is not something we need to keep us safe— it’s bad police work, it’s unconstitutional, and it makes us all less safe,” said NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling.
According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 46% of transgender people say they would feel somewhat or very uncomfortable seeking police assistance, while only 35% said they would feel comfortable doing so. 22% of all trans people and 38% of Black trans people report experiencing transphobic police harassment—while 6% of all trans people, 9% of trans Latinos, and 15% of Black trans people report having experienced a transphobic assault by police.
Holder announced his resignation last month. President Obama nominated federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch of Brooklyn to replace him.
Attorney General Eric Holder is set to announce today, Dec. 8, a new policy barring law enforcement officials from profiling based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin and religion, The Washington Blade reports.
The policy expands a 2003 decision to bar profiling based on race and ethnicity.
The policy has been in five years in the making.
“With this new guidance, we take a major and important step forward to ensure effective policing by federal law enforcement officials and state and local law enforcement participating in federal task forces throughout the nation,” Holder said in a statement.