Depending on where you live in New York, you may find yourself accused of a crime by local police, potentially even put in handcuffs. Racial profiling may have played a part in your arrest as well as any unnecessarily rough treatment that you received during your arrest. To build a racial profiling case, understand what the practice is.
The ACLU takes a thorough look at racial profiling. Know where and when the practice happens (and when it does not) so you can protect your legal rights.
Defining racial profiling
At its roots, racial profiling is the discriminatory act of suspecting a person of an illegal act based on that individual’s national origin, race, ethnicity or religion. Law enforcement may engage in racial profiling when they use race to determine whom to stop and frisk on the street or which drivers to pull over for a traffic violation.
Law enforcement agents who may engage in racial profiling
One important fact to know is that law enforcement agents who engage in racial profiling include more than just police officers. You could have a racial profiling case on your hands if apprehended or questioned by an airport security agent, a mall security guard or even an airline pilot who asked you to disembark a plane because you “looked suspicious.”
Instances that are not examples of racial profiling
Sometimes, a claim of racial profiling could crumble. For example, a law enforcement agent could stop you or pull you over because you fit a suspect description that specifically includes ethnicity or race along with additional identifiers. This would not be an example of racial profiling.
You do not have to become a victim of legal injustice. Understand discriminatory practices to hold law enforcement agents accountable for their misdeeds.