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.

Plaintiff Shoshana Hebshi

Making Flying While Brown Safe Again

By Rachel Goodman, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 3:31pm
When Shoshana Hebshi boarded Frontier Flight 623 on September 11, 2011, she was heading home to Detroit Metro Airport from a visit to her sister in San Francisco. She couldn't have foreseen that being seated next to two other brown-skinned people would end up with her handcuffed, detained, and strip-searched by law enforcement.
Scottsboro Boys Exonerated, But Troubling Legacy Remains for Black Men

Scottsboro Boys Exonerated, But Troubling Legacy Remains for Black Men

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 4:01pm

The Alabama Board of Pardons and Parole's posthumous pardon today of the last of the black men wrongly convicted of the rape of two white women 82 years ago in Scottsboro, Alabama seems to write the final chapter of a sorry story that epitomizes the…

All Eyes on Arpaio

All Eyes on Arpaio

By Cecillia Wang, ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project at 9:58am

A federal judge in Arizona has delivered a major – and hopefully final – victory in the fight to stop Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) from racial profiling and illegal detentions that target Latinos.

In…

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...

Challenging the Ignorance of a Hate Attack

Challenging the Ignorance of a Hate Attack

By Prabhjot Singh, Assistant Professor, Columbia University at 2:35pm

On September 21, I took a walk with a friend near Central Park after dropping off my wife and 1-year-old son. A group of young men on bikes saw my turban and beard – distinctly identifiable features of a devout Sikh – and yelled "Osama" and "Terrorist"…

14-Year-Old Arrested for Playing with Puppy While Black. Seriously.

14-Year-Old Arrested for Playing with Puppy While Black. Seriously.

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 3:09pm

Last week down in Florida, 14-year-old Tremaine McMillian was playing in the water with a friend at the beach when a Miami-Dade police officer approached him to ask what he was doing, misinterpreting their play for a fight. Tremaine walked away from…

Ferguson Police's PR Stunt Poisons Independent and Impartial Investigation

Ferguson Police's PR Stunt Poisons Independent and Impartial Investigation

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 6:23pm

The tragic killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson Police Department has shocked his family, community, and the nation.

The public and the ACLU of Missouri have called for release of the police incident…

Comey's Hollow MLK Guidance to FBI Agents

Comey's Hollow MLK Guidance to FBI Agents

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:21am

Newly sworn in FBI Director James Comey has ordered all new FBI agent trainees to visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC, so they can reflect on the FBI's infamous history of hounding the civil rights leader and recognize "the…

Shopping While Black: Harms Go Deeper Than You Think

Shopping While Black: Harms Go Deeper Than You Think

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 12:03pm

Just in case we need reminders that too many people share the bias linking all black people with criminality, New York newspapers over the last two weeks were filled with stories of Black and Latino shoppers who were questioned and detained for suspicion…

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…

Statistics image