Racial profiling
There are several definitions of racial or religious profiling. One is a police action that is initiated against a person because of that person’s appearance rather than what that person is doing. Police defend the use of racial profiling as a necessary and legitimate law enforcement tool which has deterred and reduced crime. Civil rights advocates claim racial profiling is unconstitutional, racist, and used to harass law-abiding Americans. They say minorities are often viewed suspiciously for no apparent reason other than their race. They claim racial profiling is based on stereotypes and rarely leads to serious criminal convictions. They also say that police actions directed against innocent people often alienate entire communities and are thus counterproductive to effective law enforcement. Besides African Americans and others, many Muslim Americans have also complained that they have experienced unjust racial profiling and discrimination since 9/11. For over 10 years, the police officers of the New York City, Philadelphia and other cities have practiced a “stop and frisk” policy in which they stop and search people not engaged in, or suspected of, committing a crime. Opponents say nearly 700,000 people were stopped in 2011 alone, and more than 5 million unjustified stops have been made during the course of this program. Most of those searched were African American or Latino. The NYPD defends this policy and claims that between 2002 and 2012, one in eight people who were stopped were accused of at least a minor crime. Critics say very few weapons were found during these controversial searches. Moreover, the rate of weapons confiscated from white “suspects” (1.4%) was greater than the rate for minorities (1%). The Supreme Court has ruled that police do not have to wait until a crime has been committed but can make stops based on suspicion that a crime is about to occur. A federal judge declared stop-and-frisk searches unconstitutional but did not halt this discriminatory practice. New York’s mayor has promised to “reform” the overuse of NYPD stop-and-frisk searches. He also withdrew the previous administration’s appeals of the federal court ruling.

Pending Legislation:
H.R.1933 - End Racial Profiling Act of 2015

Issue Suggestions

Suggest an important issue not listed in this sub-category (). (Maximum 60 Characters)

Poll Opening Date
May 21, 2020
Poll Closing Date
May 27, 2020

Democracy Rules respects the privacy of your information.