Arab American Action Network (AAAN) #EndRacialProfiling Press Conference & Letter Delivery to FBI
Posted on August 18, 2016
August 18 , 2016
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
FBI Regional Headquarters
2111 W Roosevelt Rd
Chicago, IL 60608
“To Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Division of the FBI:
We, the undersigned, are demanding an end to the FBI Chicago Division’s policies of racial profiling. These include Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) national program, and the use of undercover informants targeting our communities. These tactics and policies have a detrimental effect on our families. In fact, according to an Arab American Action Network (AAAN) survey of Chicagoland Arabs and Muslims:
- 1 out of 12 community members surveyed believe they have been contacted by an informant;
- 1 out of 10 community members surveyed were visited by the FBI, with over 50% of those interactions taking place in their homes;
- 2/3 of community members surveyed do not trust federal law enforcement; and
- 1/3 of community members surveyed believe there are confidential informants within the Arab and Muslim communities of Chicagoland.
The rampant use of informants and the hyper-surveillance of people in our communities have led to the following results:
- Arab and Muslim community members surveyed were less likely to discuss their political beliefs, knowing that law enforcement is so prevalent; and
- 17.5% of community members reported experiencing hardship after an interaction with law enforcement (including financial difficulty, needing to move, and even divorce).
We also recognize at the time of writing this letter that the Movement for Black Lives in this country and city is at its peak. The hyper-surveillance of Arab and Muslim communities by the FBI cannot be separated from mass policing, mass incarceration, and killing of Black people by the Chicago Police Department and law enforcement agencies across the country.
We write this letter officially calling for you to publicly declare the end of the use of SARs by the FBI Chicago Division, and that your office will refuse to partake in any CVE programming.
The Youth Organizing Program of the Arab American Action Network”