According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), “racial profiling refers to the discriminatory practice by law enforcement officials of targeting individuals for suspicion of crime based on the individual’s race, ethnicity, religion or national origin.” While many African Americans have been and continue to be the victim of racial profiling, Hispanics and Asians are some of the other minority groups that experience racial profiling as well. Although most people are familiar with the term and understand exactly what it is, victims of it are often uncertain as to what they can do to combat it when an officer of the law uses their race, ethnicity, religion, etc. as their sole basis for questioning them or pulling them over.
In this article, not only will we explore a few examples of what would constitute as racial profiling for anyone who isn’t sure along with some forms of legal action that can be taken against a police officer and/or their department when these acts of misconduct cause a person to suffer physically and/or psychologically.
Examples of Racial Profiling in the U.S.
- The ACLU shared one man’s experience of what it is like to be racially profiled along with the effects it has had on him. In 2010, Jim Shee, who is an American citizen of Chinese and Spanish descent, had pulled off to the side of the road to answer a text message when he noticed an officer pull up behind him. The officer approached his vehicle and requested that he show his “papers.” Shee showed the officer his passport, which revealed he was an American citizen, and was later told by the officer that he was free to go. After asking the officer if he had pulled him over on the mere basis that he “looked suspicious,” the officer confirmed, but again told him he was free to leave.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only time Shee had been stopped by police and asked to produce his “papers.” Not only did the act make him feel discriminated against, but also a victim of racial profiling. Shee worries that his family will be subjected to similar treatment as they do not have “blonde hair and blue eyes” which may lead to them feeling degraded and embarrassed just as he did.
- In 1995, a 31-year-old African American male was killed by police after an encounter with officers “in a predominately white community” went south. According to the ACLU, the male, who happened to be the cousin of a Pittsburgh Steelers football player, was riding in his cousins Jaguar when he was stopped by police and a struggle broke out. Officers began to kick, hit, and club the male and he eventually died. Although the officers claimed the male started the fight, a tow truck driver who witnessed the incident said he saw one officer initiate it and the others join in. The family of the male filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the officers and although one was acquitted and the two others had their charges dismissed, the family was awarded $1.5 million from the police department.
How to Combat Racial Profiling if You are a Resident of Flagler County, FL
Fighting back against racial profiling can be difficult to do alone which is why anyone who believes they are a victim of it hire a Flagler County, FL police brutality lawyer who has a great deal of experience in handling these types of cases. The fact is, there is something you can do to combat racial profiling but without a legal expert who is familiar with the laws and what your legal rights are in the matter, you risk not having your complaint taken seriously if you were to file one.
Aside from police brutality lawyers helping you understand how the law works and how you can exercise your rights, they can determine whether you qualify to file a personal injury lawsuit against the officer and/or their department. Not only is a personal injury lawsuit meant to help a victim seek justice for the officer’s misconduct, but it is also used to recover compensation for the pain and suffering they have had to endure. In the event your loved one was killed by a police officer in Flagler County, FL, you would need to speak with a police misconduct attorney regarding filing a wrongful death lawsuit as opposed to a personal injury suit
Although individuals cannot prevent officers from engaging in behavior that violates their rights, they can fight back against it by hiring a reputable and aggressive police brutality attorney who can help them.