Racial profiling is a nationwide problem. Personal
stories have been reported across the country -- not only by everyday
citizens, but also doctors, lawyers, judges, legislators, police and
military officers, and celebrities.
People believe racial profiling is a problem. Polls
show that a majority of both African Americans and whites believe
that racial profiling is widespread.
Racial profiling is based on false assumptions. Police drug programs mistakenly believe that people
of color are most of the drug users and sellers. Government studies
show that each racial group uses and sells in proportion to their
percentages in the population (for example, whites are 70% of the
population and 70% of users and sellers; blacks are 15% of the population
and 15% of users and sellers).
Racial profiling is ineffective. Hit
rate studies of traffic stops and searches show that people
of color, including African Americans and Latinos, are no more likely,
and very often, less likely, to have drugs or weapons than whites.
Data points to the problem. Studies
around the country have shown large differences in the rate of stops
and searches for African Americans and Latinos, and often, Indians
(Native Americans) and Asians, even though all of these groups are
less likely to have contraband.
Racial profiling causes resentment in the
targeted communities. It
makes them less likely to cooperate in investigations. Independent
stop/search data collection & reporting show openness and build