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Copyright 2014 by Attorney Carlos Gamino
Racial profiling is basically just being suspicious of someone because of their race, right?
Carlos Gamino: That’s mostly correct. Racial profiling is using race or ethnicity as the basis for suspecting that someone is guilty of committing a crime or another offense. We heard a lot about it after 9/11, where people wearing Islamic garb were being pulled out of line at the airports, and then we started hearing about it again after the incident in Ferguson earlier this year.
Is racial profiling illegal?
Carlos Gamino: Racial profiling is illegal in many instances. However, there’s a bill that’s been introduced to Congress—H.R. 2851—that would make it illegal in all instances. If that bill passes, racial profiling will also include:
It would be similar to what we see in discrimination cases, although more categories are protected by anti-discrimination laws.
Can you tell us the difference between what is and isn’t racial profiling?
Carlos Gamino: Let’s say a police officer watches five cars zip past him on I-94 at 75 miles per hour. The fifth car is being driven by a man with dark skin who’s wearing a turban. If the officer pulls over that man because he was wearing a turban, that’s racial profiling. On the other hand, let’s say the officer hears about a man in a turban fleeing the scene at a bank that was just robbed in downtown Milwaukee. He pulls the man over because he fits the description; that’s not racial profiling.
What do you think about H.R. 2851? Does some amount of racial profiling help keep us safe, or should it all stop? Share your thoughts here or on my Facebook page.
Attorney Carlos Gamino has always been an advocate of equal rights, particularly when it comes to minorities. Many law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin have strict rules about racial profiling because it unfairly targets some groups of people – but not everyone follows them. Here’s a short interview with Carlos about racial profiling and whether it should stop.
News from Attorney Carlos Gamino
Racial Profiling - Is it Time to Stop?
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