While any interaction with the authorities can be stressful, racial profiling can put your rights and your freedom at risk. Time in court or incarceration keeps you away from your job and your family. Having an arrest or conviction on your criminal record can also make it difficult to find employment and housing.
Some Texas cities report that racial profiling issues are decreasing in recent years, but the risk it poses for people of color is still cause for concern.
Traffic stops disproportionately impact people of color.
According to recent studies of policing statistics, police officers are more likely to stop Hispanic and African American drivers. Moreover, the police often require less evidence to search these drivers’ vehicles than they need to search the cars of white drivers.
Racial profiling also leads to increased wrongful convictions.
The National Registry of Exonerations reports that despite making up only 13 percent of the United States’ population, African Americans account for nearly half of exonerations. This increased rate of wrongful convictions can be attributed to:
- Police misconduct
- Misidentification by eyewitnesses
- Racial profiling on behalf of police officers
For some crimes like sexual assault, this data suggests that black prisoners may be more than three times as likely to be wrongfully convicted than white prisoners.
If you have been the victim of racial profiling, working with an attorney can be vital in protecting yourself from the long-term consequences of a conviction. Your attorney can examine the evidence and build a case that protects your freedom from racially biased policing.