While many police officers perform their job duties in a respectable fashion, too frequently people are stopped, harassed, and arrested because of their racial background. This is called racial profiling, and it is strictly against Florida state law and the Constitution of the United States.
You have the right to be treated the same as any as any other individual, regardless of your background. If this happens to you or a loved one, you have the right to file a claim against the police for their racially biased treatment. At Rudenberg and Glasser, P.A., our Fort Lauderdale civil rights attorneys vigorously fight for members of minority communities who have been victimized by police.
Racial profiling is a phenomenon that’s easy to spot but difficult to define in a practical way. After all, profiling looks different in multiple situations. However, proving racial profiling in court is possible. By examining the circumstances of your arrest, the probable cause (or lack thereof), and the at-fault officer’s history, we may be able to show that you were unlawfully targeted by the police.
Here are common indicators that racial profiling took place.
#1: Unexplained Escalation of Penalty
This is most common when a police officer detains an individual for an issue that would normally only require a ticket. Another situation might be if an officer asks to search your car despite being pulled over for a traffic violation.
For example, if a person is caught speeding, then the exchange should revolve around the speeding ticket or your driving. Should the officer insist on searching your belongings or your vehicle without probable cause, that person is likely the victim of racial profiling.
#2: Aggressive Questioning or Behavior Without Provocation
Professionally speaking, officers are trained to be calm and polite unless a suspect acts suspiciously or aggressively. If an officer regarded you with unprovoked anger or discomfort, it may have just been a rough day—but it may also be a result of racial profiling. If your behavior did not seem to warrant the treatment you received, try to recall as much detail about the exchange as possible.
#3: Questions About Your Clothing or Appearance
Barring any suspicious activity or probable cause on your part, there’s very little reason for an officer to comment on your appearance. As a minority, you have a right to be regarded with fairness and justice—this precludes unrelated comments and suspicion about your clothes, style, or features. If an officer showed unprovoked interest or suspicion regarding these things, it indicates profiling.
Racial profiling has affected many individuals in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas. Sadly, this common occurrence is often not quickly rectified by police unless legal action is taken. Being innocent of your charges isn't enough to protect you.
If you are victim of any of the following due to your race, call our firm:
For example, if a police tries to detain you simply because of your race, this would be considered profiling and could give you the right to pursue a case against them. The inappropriate actions of police officers and law enforcement should not go without recourse, and you may be able to obtain compensation for the suffering you experienced at the hands of police. The civil rights lawyers from our firm can help you seek justice.
Receive a free consultation today when you call our firm.