In December 2014, the Department of Justice updated guidance which prohibited federal law enforcement officials from profiling an individual based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, and religion to include gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation. While an important step, the guidance is unable to address issues at the state and local level.Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, whose district represents Ferguson, was among the speakers at the event this morning. She shared stories on what has been going on in the city and criticized the "heavy-handed police response and general mismanagement of the crisis within the community," a press release from the YWCA said.
The End Racial Profiling Act of 2015 would prohibit federal, state, and local law enforcement from targeting a person based on actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation without trustworthy information that is relevant to linking a person to a crime. The bill also requires federal law enforcement to maintain adequate policies and procedures designed to eliminate racial profiling (defined broadly), including data collecting and processes for investigating and responding to complaints alleging racial profiling.
Chappelle-Nadal acknowledged that institutional inequality is a major issue underpinning the unrest in Ferguson, contributing to tensions between police and an angered community: "I have to tell you that there has been systematic racism, institutionally in state government for decades, including my own state party,” she said.Flake has not responded to Fryer's message, according to the YWCA.
The Senator has proposed legislation in 2015 to re-examine policies related to use of deadly force and proper legal procedures following officer-involved deaths, and she has called for the resignation of Governor Jay Nixon (D). She called for Arizonans to take a lead from the YWCA’s efforts here in Tucson to end racial profiling.