Contact: Rose King, (503) 863-1363, firstname.lastname@example.org
Salem, Ore. – Today, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and the Work Group on the Prevention of Profiling by Law Enforcement released a report outlining recommendations for the Oregon Legislature to prevent and respond appropriately to profiling by law enforcement.
As strong advocates leading the fight to end profiling in Oregon, the Fair Shot For All Coalition issued the following statement from coalition member Kayse Jama, Executive Director of the Center for Intercultural Organizing:
Profiling by law enforcement continues to be a serious problem that affects Oregonians in communities across the state. Every day, people are targeted based on their race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, language, housing status, sexual orientation or gender identity.
We took an important first step in the 2015 Legislative Session by passing a law that bans profiling in Oregon. However, simply making something illegal does not mean it does not still occur—and our work is far from over. More must be done to ensure our criminal justice system can effectively identify, record, and correct any profiling practices by Oregon law enforcement agencies. Without making these critical changes, we fall short of our goal to stop this harmful practice.
This fall, the Attorney General and Work Group members listened to community members share the emotional, psychological, physical and financial trauma they’ve experienced as a result of profiling happening right here in Oregon. They heard firsthand how this practice doesn’t make our neighborhoods safer—it disrupts lives and creates ripple effects that harm families and communities.
People in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color are targeted the most by profiling practices, leading to higher arrest and conviction rates for these communities. Many are already struggling financially and risk harsher penalties and extra fees when they can’t afford to pay the fines that result from unfair profiling—putting their jobs on the line and their families at risk.
Law enforcement is at its best when officers work together with communities to ensure public safety and promote the dignity of all people. The recommendations rolled out by the Work Group today are another step in the right direction towards changing the culture of policing in our state, making neighborhoods safer and communities stronger. We thank the Attorney General and Work Group members for their commitment to this issue and willingness to engage in meaningful dialogue with communities across the state.
Fair Shot For All Coalition will continue to work with legislators, local communities and law enforcement organizations to ensure that everyone is treated fairly by law enforcement. We are committed to lead the fight to end profiling in Oregon and we look forward to the Attorney General’s support in moving the Work Group recommendations to action.