New York City Racial Profiling Attorney
Racial profiling is based on an erroneous assumption that people with a particular skin color, ethnicity, religion, or national origin are more likely to be criminals or terrorists. Police, private security personnel, TSA, airline employees, or others treat people with these characteristics as suspects when a crime has been committed (regardless of total lack of evidence), or as being dangerous and likely to commit a crime or an act of terrorism. However, this is completely unjust and unwarranted; a New York City racial profiling attorney can defend your fundamental and civil rights if a situation like this arises.
Unfortunately, racial profiling is rampant in the United States today; it is a discriminatory practice that has no place in a democratic nation where all people are to be considered equal under the law, and which prides itself on its diversity and history as a melting pot. It is born of fear—fear of those who are physically, racially, or culturally different. It is not only born of fear, but it creates a further environment of fear among members of the communities whom it targets. It is divisive and furthers distrust where unity and inclusiveness should exist. And it leads to unequal treatment of people based on how they look, the religion they practice, or the language they speak. It tries to create an underclass and harms its victims by limiting their freedom of movement and placing them in danger of harassment, humiliation, and false arrest in New York City.
Where and When Does Racial Profiling Occur?
On New York City streets, racial profiling has been especially common in two situations: traffic stops for very insignificant offenses—or none at all other than “driving while black (or brown)” ̶ ̶ which disproportionately affect people of color; and “stop and frisk” incidents, in which people are stopped on the street and patted down without any reasonable cause for suspicion other than their membership in a particular group, which has become subject to stereotyping.
The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) studied the NYPD’s “stop and frisk” practices and determined that since 2002 innocent citizens, predominantly black and Latino, have been stopped and questioned more than four million times. Ninety percent of those subjected to this discriminatory and humiliating policy were entirely innocent of any wrongdoing, according to the police department’s own statistics. While frisks are only meant to be conducted in cases where a police officer has reason to suspect that the person has a weapon that could endanger the officer’s safety, only 1.9 percent of the time was the person found to be carrying a weapon. Eighty-seven percent of those who were stopped were either black or Latino, clearly demonstrating the effects of racial profiling.
In addition, people who speak Arabic, exhibit physical characteristics often associated with the Middle East or South Asia, or who wear a certain style of clothing, such as the hijab ,or headscarf, often worn by Muslim women, may be profiled, detained, and searched at airports and elsewhere, and in some cases have even been removed from flights for no other reason than their perceived ethnicity. In retail stores, loss prevention personnel may operate on the assumption that dark-skinned people are more likely to steal and may follow them around and even detain them on suspicion of theft.
Your Rights as a Racial Profiling Victim
Racial profiling has been prohibited by the federal Department of Justice since 2003, but it continues to occur today. If you or a member of your family was treated as a “criminal suspect” without any reason but the fact of your race or ethnicity, you may be able to recover money in compensation for damages—physical, psychological, or economic—that were caused by your being profiled and wrongfully arrested. You should contact an experienced New York City racial profiling attorney, like Jon Norinsberg, to discuss your legal options and learn how to proceed and to hold the party responsible for this discriminatory policy to account.
Where to Get the Legal Help You Need When You’ve Been a Victim of Racial Profiling
In New York, you can find the help you need by contacting the Law Offices of Jon L. Norinsberg, a New York City racial profiling attorney with more than 25 years of legal experience who is deeply committed to justice and equality of all people under the law. You will be treated with the dignity and respect you deserve, and you will have an advocate who will help you challenge this unfair, illegal, and discriminatory policy, which has, unfortunately, become systemic. Call Jon Norinsberg immediately because certain time restraints called statutes of limitations are in place; by waiting, you could lose your right to sue and your opportunity to do your part to put an end to the policy of racial profiling in New York.