In today’s world of claims of racism and profiling, Kentucky residents should know their rights if they are accused of committing any crime, from a white-collar crime to a DUI. The American Civil Liberties Union defines racial profiling as a discriminatory practice when individuals are targeted by law enforcement officials based on their national origin, religion, ethnicity or race.

The definition of law enforcement official extends past just a police officer. This can refer to professionals such as security guards, airline pilots and airport security agents. According to the organization, some of the most common victims of racial profiling include South Asians, Muslims and Arabs since the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City.

If a police officer is in pursuit of a suspect that matches the description given by witnesses that includes other identifying factors with ethnicity and race, it is not necessarily racial profiling. Although targeting someone because of race is illegal under the promises of equal protection of the Constitution and freedom from unlawful search and seizure, it is still a common problem in everyday America. In many situations, law enforcement officials target people of color for frightening and humiliating interrogations, searches and detentions.

Racial profiling is ineffective because it can alienate communities of color from law enforcement and hinder the attempts of local police officers to police areas inhabited by minorities. In the most tragic cases, the situation escalates until someone is killed or seriously injured when they may have done nothing wrong. If you feel you have been a victim of racial profiling in any type of crime, it may be beneficial to speak to a criminal defense attorney immediately, because it can be difficult to prove racial profiling without the right help.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.