Were You The Victim Of Racial Profiling?
Whether you realize it or not, racial profiling happens every day. Students of color are accused of violations at school more frequently than their white counterparts. Asians, blacks, Latinos and Muslims are more likely to be arrested. In a 30-plus year study by the Chicago Police Department, it was determined that force is more likely to be used when someone of color is arrested.
Racial profiling is a violation of your civil rights. When a law enforcement officer, a government agency or someone in authority uses a person’s perceived race, religion, sex or skin color to determine if a crime or rules violation was committed, they are profiling. If it happened to you, your civil rights might have been violated. Call our skilled civil rights attorneys at Erickson & Oppenheimer, Ltd. if you think you were racially profiled.
With our more than 45 years of courtroom experience, we will be your dedicated advocates.
Troubling Racial Profiling Trends
More than a decade ago, Illinois required all law enforcement agencies to collect and record traffic stop data. It was supposed to control racial profiling. The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois released the study’s results.
Two areas recorded, consent searches and the use of drug-sniffing dogs, show that the problem is not improving. The findings:
- Consent searches. In one year, there were over 2,000 consent searches in Illinois. The results found that there were more searches of black and Latino drivers.
- Drug-sniffing dogs. The Illinois State Police are more likely to use a dog to search a black or Latino driver’s car.
Know Your Rights
You have Constitutional rights that protect you against racial profiling:
- Fourth Amendment. It is unlawful for police to conduct unreasonable searches and seizures. They are not allowed to search your car without probable cause that you were involved in a crime. A search warrant is also required to search your home or office unless there is probable cause.
- Fifth Amendment. You have heard it on TV police dramas, “you have the right to remain silent…” It’s true, you do not have to answer questions without having a lawyer present during questioning.