WASHINGTON - August 26 - Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), the Ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, has called for an investigation by the Government Accountability Office of allegations that political officials at the Department of Justice demoted an agency supervisor in an attempt to suppress the results of a study that found disproportionately aggressive treatment by police of African-American and Hispanic drivers.
Conyers stated that, "Based on what I have learned about the treatment of Mr. Greenfeld, I am calling for an independent review by the GAO. It is totally unacceptable for the Justice Department to politicize statistical releases and demote individuals merely because they were seeking to provide accurate summaries of statistical information regarding racial profiling. We need to review the Department's treatment of Mr. Greenfeld as well as all aspects of the accuracy and completeness of the traffic stops study."
"The results of this study and DOJ's 2001 analysis of police contact data provide important evidence of continuing bias against minorities by law enforcement officers. In fact, the 2001 study was cited in the findings section of my legislation, the End Racial Profiling Act. If this report was influenced by political pressure, this is a serious indictment of the administration's approach to improving law enforcement practices. Moreover, the apparent attempt to quash the report is inconsistent with the President's stated commitment to end racial profiling, made in his first state of the union speech."
"Racial profiling is an insidious practice that undermines law enforcement by antagonizing minority communities. However, in light of the recent terrorist violence in London, some members of law enforcement have openly advocated racial/ethnic profiling as a method of uncovering terrorist sleeper cells. We must stand against this unconstitutional practice and focus on the conduct or behavior of individuals, rather than making an entire community suspect."