David Harris’s Testimony in the U.S. House Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on Racial Profiling
On June 17, 2010, Professor David Harris testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, which held a hearing on “Racial Profiling and the Use of Suspect Classifications in Law Enforcement Policy.” In his testimony, Harris explained that ending racial profiling would both improve public safety, by forcing police officers to adopt more effective tactics, and would also bolster civil liberties by insuring equal protection under the law. “The American people need to know that ending racial profiling is necessary for both the enhancement of public safety and the protection of civil rights. The use of racial or ethnic appearance as a way to target law enforcement efforts does not help police catch more criminals; rather, racial targeting nets fewer criminals, and in the bargain turns the public against police efforts. Protecting civil rights by ending racial profiling will help make us safer, and honor our country’s commitment to equal justice under law.”
The testimony was widely reported in the news media. Harris was interviewed about his Congressional testimony and what Congress should do about racial profiling on WDUQ, Pittsburgh’s NPR affiliate. The interview aired June 17. Other press coverage appeared as far away as Thailand, where the Bangkok Post reported on the hearing.