Racial Profiling

November 22, 2013 • Volume 23, Issue 42
Are minorities unfairly targeted by police?
By Kenneth Jost


Jovan Washington, Louis Estrada and Cecil Boyce (Getty Images/The Christian Science Monitor/Ann Hermes)
Jovan Washington, Louis Estrada and Cecil Boyce say racial profiling by police makes innocent activities such as hanging out and playing basketball in New Haven, Conn., difficult for blacks and Hispanics. Washington, at left, says police have targeted the group for no apparent reason. “They just assume that we are up to no good,” he said. (Getty Images/The Christian Science Monitor/Ann Hermes)

Civil liberties and minority groups are pressuring police departments to eliminate racial and ethnic profiling in pedestrian and traffic stops, while police groups and some experts insist the complaints about the practice are exaggerated. African-Americans have long complained of traffic stops seemingly for “driving while black,” and many — including President Obama and Oprah Winfrey — said recently they have felt profiled by store clerks for “shopping while black.” Hispanics and Muslims also feel singled out as suspected immigration violators or terrorists. Two big law enforcement agencies — the New York City Police Department and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, which covers Phoenix — are under court order to eliminate the practice. In New York, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio is expected to change the NYPD's aggressive stop-and-frisk policies after he takes office on Jan. 1.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Racism and Hate
Aug. 13, 2021  Hate Crimes
Feb. 12, 2021  Slavery's Legacy
May 12, 2017  Anti-Semitism
Mar. 17, 2017  ‘Alt-Right’ Movement
Sep. 18, 2015  Far-Right Extremism
Nov. 22, 2013  Racial Profiling
May 08, 2009  Hate Groups
Jun. 01, 2007  Shock Jocks Updated
Jan. 07, 1994  Racial Tensions in Schools
Jan. 08, 1993  Hate Crimes
May 12, 1989  The Growing Danger of Hate Groups
Nov. 05, 1969  American History: Reappraisal and Revision
Mar. 31, 1965  Extremist Movements in Race and Politics
May 13, 1964  Racism in America
Dec. 03, 1958  Spread of Terrorism and Hatemongering
Jul. 10, 1946  Ku Klux Klan
Jan. 09, 1945  Race Equality
Dec. 19, 1933  Lynching and Kidnapping
Civil Rights and Civil Liberty Issues
Civil Rights: African Americans
Civil Rights: Hispanic Americans
Criminal Law Procedure and Due Process
Domestic Issues
Federal Courts
Race and Hate Crimes