New York Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Lawyers

3 examples of racial profiling

On Behalf of | Monday Feb 26, 2018 | Police Misconduct

Racial profiling is a despicable act where people in positions of power suspect someone has committed a crime based on the color of his or her skin. This behavior runs rampant in today’s society.

Here are three common examples of racial profiling.

1. Stop-and-frisk

The main problem with New York’s stop-and-frisk policy is that it disproportionately impacts people of color. This practice takes place in many more states where the police have no other reason to pull a person over and stop a person walking down a street. The officers then conduct a frisk to see if there are any illegal substances on the individual. Fortunately, the number of stop-and-frisks have gone down in the state in recent years.

2. Shopping while black

Many people are familiar with the phrase “driving while black,” which occurs when police pull over a driver for committing a minor traffic infraction that the cops likely would have looked the other way for with a white driver. “Shopping while black” is the same principle where an employee of a store may follow a person of color around or refuse to be helpful.

For example, in a recent incident, employees of a restaurant chain called law enforcement and claimed two black women were guilty of skipping out on their bill. The two women were identified by their skin color and questioned by police, even though the accuser admitted she could not remember any other descriptive features.

3. Unlawful searches

When police officers pull over any driver, they do not have a right to search the vehicle unless there is suspicion a crime is active. For example, if the cops smell alcohol on a person’s breath in the vehicle, then they could search the car to see if there are any open containers. With something as subjective as smell, the cops could theoretically claim to smell alcohol or marijuana to search a vehicle without obtaining a warrant first.