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Many people associate random police stops of cars with black or Hispanic drivers as racial profiling. Unfortunately, racial profiling occurs throughout the country on a daily basis. Recognizing the signs of racial profiling is an important first step in ending this ineffective and discriminatory law enforcement practice.
Any actions of law enforcement based solely on the ethnicity, race, religion, or national origin of an individual can be considered racial or ethnic profiling. Detaining, interrogating, and searching individuals based solely on the membership of a protected class, without evidence of criminal conduct, are at the heart of this illegal police misconduct. Improper targeting of individuals based on their race or ethnicity can occur:
In addition to the racial profiling of black and Hispanic males, the illegal targeting of Muslim and Arab communities has been on the rise since the September 11 attacks.
Individuals who have been victims of racial or ethnic profiling report abusive misconduct from police officers causing in anger, embarrassment, and humiliation. Some victims require medical or psychological treatment to deal with the trauma they experience. Some racial profiling victims develop an inability to trust police. Racial profiling often leads to suspicion and mistrust in local communities. In extreme cases, this can lead to community disorder and impede proper law enforcement.
International organizations, including The Open Society Foundation and Amnesty International, are increasing their efforts to end racial profiling. In the United States, the American Civil Liberties Union has advocated for changes in police policies through their litigation, lobbying, and public education outreaches. Despite these national and international initiatives, there has been a recent increase in this type of illegal discrimination committed by local and state law enforcement agencies. Holding police departments and other government agencies that improperly target individuals based on their race accountable is a first step toward ending racial profiling.
Racial profiling is a violation of an individual’s civil rights. Under the law, every citizen must be treated equally regardless of their race, color, ethnicity, country of national origin, or religion. Filing a civil lawsuit against an abusive officer, the police department, or other government agency engaged in this illegal conduct, can help victims of social profiling hold these parties responsible for their actions. When determining whether compensation is available based on a civil rights violation, contact an experienced Philadelphia civil rights lawyer who understands the complexities of state and federal civil rights statutes.
If you or a loved one experienced racial profiling at the hands of law enforcement, you may be entitled to compensation under civil rights laws. At Williams Cedar, our experienced Philadelphia police misconduct lawyers fight to protect your civil rights while working aggressively to help you obtain the maximum compensation available. Conveniently located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and nationwide. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 215-557-0099 or submit an online inquiry form.