Police racial profiling is a controversial topic, with both advocates for and against the practice. There is no universally accepted definition of racial profiling, but it does seem to refer to any action taken by law enforcement that disproportionately affects an individual’s race. Sometimes, this can result in an individual being stopped or searched in New York City because they are minorities. In other cases, it can be due to more general policing practices targeting one race over another. Here are a few potential signs:
1. Open hostility or hostile questioning
Persons being questioned by police are often made to feel as if they are guilty of something, and this can include verbal or physical abuse. Likewise, innocent persons falsely accused of a crime may experience aggressive questioning or unwarranted violence.
2. Racial profiling at traffic stops
This can involve either driving while Black people are questioned or searched more often than others, or stopping them more frequently than others, particularly if they appear to be Black. Police set up these checkpoints around certain areas to stop people who appear to be undocumented immigrants from entering a certain area or city. However, these checkpoints are arbitrary and illegal, as police officers cannot make random stops for any reason.
3. Extreme physical force
Whether it be police officers physically abusing people or using unnecessary force against a person of color, this could be an indicator of racial profiling. This can include anything from excessive tasering to overly violent arrests by police officers who may be racist against one or several minority populations.
Keep in mind
Racial profiling is a real issue many people should consider when experiencing or seeing injustice in their personal lives. However, be careful not to generalize, and always be aware of how racial profiling can manifest itself in different areas of one’s life.