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.

Boston Police Have a Racially Biased Policing Problem, and a Golden Opportunity to Reform

Boston Police Have a Racially Biased Policing Problem, and a Golden Opportunity to Reform

By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 12:22pm
During the summer of 2011, then-19-year-old Ivan Richiez was robbed at gunpoint and pistol-whipped by two men in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. Bruised and bloodied, Ivan walked home passed the local Boston Police Department (BPD) precinct. He thought about stopping to ask for help. But then he remembered the more than two dozen times police had stopped or frisked him since 2007, even though he hadn't been doing anything wrong.
Madonna Pappan

U.N. to Confront United States on Persistent Racial Discrimination

By Chandra Bhatnagar, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program at 1:18pm

Imagine the government taking away your two children in a hearing that lasts less than 60 seconds.

Madonna Pappan and her husband, members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, don’t have to imagine it, because it happened to them. And…

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…

Racial Profiling at Logan Airport Undermines Security and Freedom

Racial Profiling at Logan Airport Undermines Security and Freedom

By Carol Rose, Executive Director, ACLU of Massachusetts at 6:10pm

Reports that the so-called "behavioral detection program" at Logan Airport leads to racial profiling is front-page news in today's Sunday New York Times. You have to admire the courage of the TSA screeners who raised the alarm that pressure from TSA management to meet quotas leads to targeting of passengers based on their race, ethnicity, and religion-- even when they clearly pose no terrorist threat.

Real People Aren't Target Practice

Real People Aren't Target Practice

By Joyce Hamilton Henry, ACLU of Florida at 11:16am

This was originally posted by the ACLU of Florida.

The pictures of six black men stared back at me from the screen, the images of their faces shredded by bullet holes. It seemed like some kind of sick threat, but it was the work of a Florida…

Want to Restore Fairness to the Criminal Justice System? End Racial Profiling

Want to Restore Fairness to the Criminal Justice System? End Racial Profiling

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 3:35pm

Just over a year ago, the Senate Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on racial profiling in over a decade on the heels of the murder of 17-year-old Florida resident Trayvon Martin.

His death gave a face to the terrible practice of racial…

Sweeping Ruling about Racial Bias in Capital Jury Selection Shows the Need for Sweeping Reforms

Sweeping Ruling about Racial Bias in Capital Jury Selection Shows the Need for Sweeping Reforms

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 2:47pm

Last week, North Carolina state Judge Gregory Weeks issued a sweeping ruling setting aside the death sentences of three North Carolina prisoners...

Attorney General Eric Holder

For Eric Holder, While He's on the Front Lines in Ferguson

By Jennifer Bellamy, Washington Legislative Office at 4:43pm

Long after the news cameras leave town, Attorney General Eric Holder wants the people in Ferguson to know he stands with them. He's in Missouri today, visiting the front lines.

In the days since Michael Brown was shot, the scene in Ferguson…

The War on Marijuana Has a Latino Data Problem

The War on Marijuana Has a Latino Data Problem

By Lynda Garcia, Soros Fellow, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 11:49am

We know that the War on Marijuana unnecessarily drags hundreds of thousands of people into the criminal justice system every year for having marijuana. And, because of a new ACLU report, we know that it is Blacks who are disproportionately arrested–…

Wearing a Hoodie While Brown Does Not Mean You Are in a Gang

By Courtney Bowie, Racial Justice Program at 5:00pm

On December 16, 2010, West High School officials in Salt Lake City, Utah invited the Metro Gang Task Force into the school to conduct a gang sweep. Students identified, searched and interrogated by the police were mostly Latino/a or, in the case of…

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