In the wake of Trayvon Martin’s death, the NAACP urged Congress Tuesday to swiftly take up a decade-old bill that would define and examine how much of a problem racial profiling is in America.

On a day when the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on racial profiling, Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP’s Washington bureau, praised law enforcement agents as “hard-working, conscientious men and women who use proven, data-driven, non-discriminatory methods of policing to protect and serve the communities in which they work.”

“The problem is that when even one of their law enforcement colleagues uses racial profiling, the trust of an entire community can be lost and the integrity of their work challenged,” Shelton said.

NAACP officials want Congress to act on a decade-old anti-racial profiling bill re-introduced last year by Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.) that would prohibit law enforcement agencies from using racial profiling in their investigations.

The bill calls for a national definition of racial profiling, describing it, in essence as “the practice of a law enforcement agent or agency relying, to a degree, on race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion in selecting which individuals to subject to routine or spontaneous investigatory activities.”

The bill also calls for mandatory training on racial profiling, including the collection of data to be submitted to the Justice Department, and withholding federal funds if state and local governments don’t do anything to stop racial profiling.

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