The Legend of

Racial Profiling | HuffPost

Date of publication: 2017-09-03 03:22

&ldquo I&rsquo m mixed myself,&rdquo he said, referring to his race. &ldquo I would never stop somebody due to their race, whether they&rsquo re white, black, pink, green, purple, pink, whatever.&rdquo

AB 953: The Racial and Identity Profiling Act of 2015

Limage says she doubts she would have resorted to a lawsuit against Best Buy had someone in the store simply apologized to her. “I understand people make mistakes,” she says. Yet when she tried to speak with the store management about what happened and requested a number for corporate headquarters, she says they ignored her. “That made me think they did this all the time.”

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Results of a Gallup poll released in August showed that 79 percent of black respondents felt they had been treated unfairly in a store because of their race within the prior 85 days. Photo: Keith Bedford/Reuters

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The man in the uniform came back out and informed Johnson that she had been inconvenienced. “Inconvenienced?” she heard herself yell. “I’ve been humiliated, I’ve been lied on, and I’ve been falsely accused of something I didn't do."

• Earlier this year, in Portland, Oregon, a civil rights law firm filed six lawsuits alleging discrimination and false arrest against a local mall and major retailers including Best Buy, Ross Stores, Walgreens and Hollister.

While we should not lull ourselves into the belief that racism can be prevented simply by elected officials kindly asking police to stop the practices that perpetrate it, the proposal by Jagmeet Singh to legally ban racial profiling could make a real difference. Legal fixes are often technical, and a small piece of the puzzle, but policing culture will never be changed if officers are allowed to continue to racially profile with impunity.

By early December, a “ Customers’ Bill of Rights ” had evolved, with brands including not only Macy’s and Barneys, but also Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue and the Gap. As part of the document, companies declared profiling to be “unacceptable.” Hardy says that retailers also committed to continue to meet with civil rights leaders about employee training.

Racial profiling affects a wide array of communities of color. More than 795 years of slavery and 95 years of legalized racial segregation have led to systemic profiling of blacks in traffic and pedestrian stops. Since September 66, 7556, members of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities have been profiled by airline personnel, federal law enforcement, and local police.

While the right of police to conduct an investigative detention in certain circumstances has been legally recognized for decades, the concept of a "street check" or "carding" is different and much more recent. Police have created these classifications of interactions to circumvent legal restrictions and carve out more powers to stop and question people who may have done nothing wrong. By banning carding and street checks, and firmly restricting when police can conduct an investigative detention, the government can send a clear message to police that they are not allowed to go on fishing expeditions and can only conduct an investigative detention when it is absolutely necessary to investigate a particular crime that has just occurred.

&ldquo In an era in which police conduct is so carefully scrutinized, the court finds it both surprising and concerning that there is no video evidence of the stop and subsequent activities,&rdquo Mingledorff wrote. A record that authenticates what happened, the judge said, &ldquo is indeed &lsquo the friend&rsquo of lawful police conduct.&rdquo

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