Racial Profiling

The practice of using a person's race or ethnicity as a factor in making decisions about law enforcement activities, such as stops, searches, or arrests. Police officer misconduct related to racial profiling occurs when a police officer engages in discriminatory behavior, using a person's race or ethnicity as the sole or primary basis for deciding to take law enforcement action. This type of misconduct is illegal and violates the constitutional rights of individuals, including the right to equal protection under the law. Racial profiling can also erode public trust in the police and contribute to community tensions. Police departments have a responsibility to train officers to recognize and avoid racial profiling, and to take appropriate action when it is discovered.