ACLU of Illinois Sues Justice Department and Homeland Security Officials over Failure to Release Racial Profiling Data
The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois asked a federal court to order the release of data that will help the public determine whether federal law enforcement agencies are engaged in racial profiling. On June 9,1999 the president then-President Bill Clinton, ordered "Fairness in Law Enforcement: Data Collection" which mandates collection of data regarding contacts between Law enforcement officials and members of the public. The request specified that it include but was not limitied to
A. all ducuments relating or referring to official policies;
B. all documents relating or referring to training materials;
C. all forms provided to agents on which they are to gather data;
D. all compilations of data; and
E. all analyses of data.
The lawsuit was filed in federal district court against the Justice Department and the new Department of Homeland Security.
It seeks enforcement of the federal Freedom of Information Act, which compels government officials to disclose certain records to the public.
This lawsuit questions whether the promises made by this act were in fact a real commitment or just a way to keep everyone "happy" for the time being.
The lawsuit specifically seeks the data from the Justice Department about the operations of the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and from the newly created Department of Homeland Security about the operations of the Customs Service.
This collection of data is considered to be a vital part in addressing the problem we have with racial profiling. By mandating this, supervisory personnel can efficiently ascertain if individual officers are targeting particular ethinic minority groups.
The author gave a web site on more information on the ACLU's work to end racial...