Racial Profiling Problem on College Campuses
Temple University has become the latest college named in a civil rights lawsuit after an African American student alleged he was the victim of racial profiling on campus. The student claims he was pulled over while driving near campus by Temple police officers and was held at gunpoint while his vehicle was searched. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case. Similar instances of racial profiling at colleges including Yale, Colorado State University, and UCLA have raised new concerns over the overreaching behavior of college security personnel.
Common Types of Racial Profiling
Targeting an individual solely on the basis of their race can constitute illegal racial profiling.
The most common activities related to racial profiling on college campuses include:
- Stop and frisks
- Arresting one group of students at higher rates while, for others, taking academic disciplinary measures in lieu of criminal prosecution, for the same alcohol or drug related offenses
- Detention of students for lack of identification is produced
- Use of excessive force against students of a particular race or ethnicity
- Harassment/abusive language
All types of racial profiling violate the civil rights of an individual. State and federal civil rights laws require students be treated equally under the law regardless of their color, race, national origin, or ethnicity.
Lack of Oversight
Lack of oversight in college police departments allows racial profiling to continue on many campuses. Under Pennsylvania law, college security forces are not under the jurisdiction of public police departments. Campus police officers need only complete training at a state-accredited police academy to be hired. With significantly less training than their public police counterparts, campus officers are given much of the same power. The conduct of campus security officers is not under the oversight of government officials.
A college’s failure to properly train its officers in proper policing practices and community engagement can result in racial profiling.
Compensation for Racial Profiling Victims
When a college violates the civil rights of one of its students, the student may be entitled to compensation under both state and federal law.
By filing a private lawsuit against the college, racial profiling victims may be able to hold these institutions responsible for their illegal actions. Seeking the guidance of an experienced Pennsylvania civil rights lawyer who understands the complexities of federal and state civil rights law is the first step in obtaining compensation for racial profiling victims.
Pennsylvania Civil Rights Lawyers at Williams Cedar Protect the Rights of Racial Profiling Victims
If you or a loved one has been the victim of racial profiling, the experienced Pennsylvania civil rights lawyers at Williams Cedar are here to help. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey to serve clients throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a free, confidential consultation with a Pennsylvania civil rights lawyer at Williams Cedar today, call us at 215-557-0099 or 856-470-9777 or contact us online.