Racial Profiling

Racial profiling is law enforcement and private security practices that disproportionately target people of color for investigation and enforcement. The ACLU works on behalf of individuals who have been victims of racial profiling by airlines, police, and government agencies. Our work also encompasses major initiatives in public education and advocacy, including the creation of essential resources, lobbying for the passage of data collection and anti-profiling legislation, and litigation of airline and highway profiling cases.

Is Your Turn-By-Turn Navigation Application Racist?

Is Your Turn-By-Turn Navigation Application Racist?

By Joe Silver, Washington Legislative Office, ACLU at 10:32am
Last month, a web-based service called “Ghetto Tracker” was unveiled. The site’s creator touted it as a travel advice service where users could pin digital maps with safety ratings to enable those new to town to avoid dodgy neighborhoods. While crowd-sourced travel advice is not a particularly novel or noteworthy idea, the site’s suggestive use of the word ghetto to evoke neighborhoods of color and its intention to label certain areas categorically “good/bad,” “safe/unsafe,” in conjunction with its choice of the below stock photo on the homepage, has resulted in an understandable backlash from those who have found the service distasteful. After a storm of negative publicity, the operators quickly renamed the service “Good Part of Town,” the stock photo was replaced with one depicting a black family, and the site dropped all of the references to “ghetto” to refer to a “bad” area. Despite this rebranding effort, the site’s operators decided to take down the site altogether just days after the launch.
We Know That Stop-and-Frisk is All Kinds of Horrible: So Why Is it Expanding Nationwide?

We Know That Stop-and-Frisk is All Kinds of Horrible: So Why Is it Expanding Nationwide?

By Robert Hunter, Legal Assistant, ACLU, Racial Justice Program at 3:51pm

I was going to the store for my mother. And then when I came out the building I see my uncle and he's coming from the way I'm going and we walk back to the store...

In Court Today: Continuing to Challenge FBI Secrecy on Racial and Ethnic Profiling

In Court Today: Continuing to Challenge FBI Secrecy on Racial and Ethnic Profiling

By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 7:00am

The ACLU and the ACLU of New Jersey are in federal appeals court today in a second challenge to FBI claims of secrecy...

Victory! Federal Court Recognizes Constitutional Rights of Americans on the No-Fly List

Victory! Federal Court Recognizes Constitutional Rights of Americans on the No-Fly List

By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 2:31pm

A federal court took a critically important step late yesterday towards placing a check on the government's...

Hindu Man Describes Mistreatment After False-Positive Hand Swab

Hindu Man Describes Mistreatment After False-Positive Hand Swab

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 4:40pm

When the TSA in 2010 introduced the swabbing of some passengers’ hands to detect for explosive residue, we got a call from CNN asking if we’d tell them on camera what we thought of it from a privacy standpoint. It seemed to us that particle sniffers…

The Fierce Urgency of Now

The Fierce Urgency of Now

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 12:09pm

For me, few anniversaries inspire as much ambivalence as the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Billed as the "March for Jobs and Freedom," the event stands as both a shining example of the promise of the civil rights era and a reminder of…

What a Week! Three Appeals Courts Across the Nation Condemn Anti-immigrant Laws

What a Week! Three Appeals Courts Across the Nation Condemn Anti-immigrant Laws

By Omar Jadwat, Immigrants' Rights Project at 12:34pm

Three federal appeals courts decisions this week have added to what was already a lopsided score in favor of fairness and common sense, and against the snake-oil salesmen who managed to convince a few states and localities to enact laws discriminating…

In Court Today: Challenging FBI Secrecy on Racial and Ethnic Profiling

In Court Today: Challenging FBI Secrecy on Racial and Ethnic Profiling

By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program & Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 12:00am

The ACLU and the ACLU of Michigan are in federal appeals court today, in a challenge to the FBI's refusal to make public information about which American communities it's spying on. The argument comes in a lawsuit we filed in 2011, after the FBI refused…

A Mother's Rules for Being Young, Black, and Male

A Mother's Rules for Being Young, Black, and Male

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:08pm

Like many mothers across the country, the Trayvon Martin tragedy still haunts me and makes me want to hold my son closer, knowing that his life as a young Black man in America is not getting any easier. As I wrote in a blog post last year, I've done…

Next Steps in Honoring Trayvon Martin: It's Time for Systemic Reform

Next Steps in Honoring Trayvon Martin: It's Time for Systemic Reform

By Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, ACLU at 3:18pm

Today, our thoughts are with Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, whose young son was taken from them far too soon.

Last night's verdict casts serious doubt on whether the legal system truly provides equal protection of the laws to everyone regardless…

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