Unfortunately, the criminal justice system has been set up to unfairly punish minorities. This tragedy is seen in the number of African Americans in prison and jail, compared to the number of white people who commit crimes at the same rate as African Americans and make up the largest racial percentage of citizens. Racism is extended into the way officers make arrests as well, particularly traffic stop arrest. If you were arrested and you believe racial profiling was involved, you need to speak with a West Palm Beach attorney at once.
What is Racial Profiling and How is it Used by Law Enforcement?
African Americans, Latinos, Asians, and other minorities are in constant threat of racial profiling, which is the “discriminatory practice by law enforcement officials of targeting individuals for suspicion of crime based on the individual’s race, ethnicity, religion or national origin,” according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Law enforcement routinely conduct traffic stops and stops on foot to search a person for illegal narcotics or other contraband, often without any evidence of wrongdoing on the suspect’s part. Typically, police use a person’s race or perceived religion, such as Muslim, as a reason to conduct these stops, which is, of course, illegal. Cases where racial profiling is evident may be thrown out by the judge, such as the recent cases that made national news earlier this year when the judge found evidence of possible racial profiling that led to NBA star Mike Scott’s arrest for drug possession, as reported by Slam. Whether the police found anything incriminating on your person or not, if racial profiling was used, the case may be thrown out.
Racial Profiling on the Rise in Florida
According to a recent report, black motorists were stopped and cited for seat belt violations in Palm Beach at three times the rate of white motorists despite using seat belts at the same rate as white motorists, as reported by the ACLU. After the 2016 presidential election, hate crime rose sharply in Florida and across the country as the alt-right, neo nazis, and other racist groups found strength in numbers. The same has happened with racial profiling, as the Trump Administration has essentially given authorities the thumbs up to continue profiling. According to President Trump, “I think profiling is something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country. You look at Israel and you look at others, and they do it and they do it successfully. And you know, I hate the concept of profiling, but we have to start using common sense, in reference to profiling Muslims, as reported by Reuters.
Were you Wrongfully Arrested due to Racial Profiling? Contact an Attorney for Help
If you were arrested and then prosecuted without probable cause, you were maliciously prosecuted. Similarly, if you were arrested because you swore at a police officer or were otherwise expressing your right to free speech, during a racially charged profiling stop for instance, the officer may have been using retaliatory prosecution to arrest you. In either of these scenarios, you need an experienced West Palm Beach attorney to help you beat these charges. Contact the Skier Law Firm today for assistance.