New U.S. Guidelines Ban Profiling by Federal Law Enforcement

New U.S. Guidelines Ban Profiling by Federal Law Enforcement

According to a report, the Obama administration has issued guidelines that ban federal law enforcement from profiling on the basis of religion, national origin and other characteristics. The Justice Department hopes these guidelines will serve as a model for local law enforcement.

The policy will also require new training and data collection. Civil rights advocates are disappointed the guidelines will exempt security screening in airports and border checkpoints and won’t be binding on local and state police agencies. These guidelines come in the midst of tension between law enforcement and civilian race relations.

"Particularly in light of certain recent incidents we've seen at the local level — and the widespread concerns about trust in the criminal justice process which so many have raised throughout the nation — it's imperative that we take every possible action to institute strong and sound policing practices," said Attorney General Eric Holder

The guidelines cover federal agencies within the Justice Department, including the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. They also extend to local and state officers serving on joint task forces alongside federal agents.

The new protocols allow for significant exemptions, including for Homeland Security officials who screen passengers at airports and do inspections at the border. Homeland Security officials argued for the exemptions on the basis of what they said was "the unique nature of border and transportation security as compared to traditional law enforcement."

About the Author

Matt Holden is an Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media, Inc. He received his MFA and BA in journalism from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He currently writes and edits for Occupational Health & Safety magazine, and Security Today.

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