Racial Profiling

The practice of racial profiling can be defined as any police action initiated because of an individual's race, ethnicity, or national origin without reasonable suspicion or probable cause. The practice of focusing on “people of color” in traffic enforcement as a pretext to further investigate or search is an example. When an individual's race, rather than behavior, is the reason for a police action, racial profiling is occurring. This practice is illegal and serves to alienate the police from the communities they serve.

Many law enforcement agencies have come under scrutiny for racial profiling. During the late 1990s, allegations of racial profiling became so common that communities of color coined the phrases “driving while black,” “driving while brown,” and “DWB” to express their frustration. Reports cite ...

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