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Racial profiling

Law and Race

Columbia Law School

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Stops And Stares: Street Stops, Surveillance, And Race In The New Policing, Jeffrey Fagan, Anthony A. Braga, Rod K. Brunson, April Pattavina Jan 2016

Stops And Stares: Street Stops, Surveillance, And Race In The New Policing, Jeffrey Fagan, Anthony A. Braga, Rod K. Brunson, April Pattavina

Faculty Scholarship

The use of proactive tactics to disrupt criminal activities, such as Terry street stops and concentrated misdemeanor arrests, are essential to the "new policing." This model applies complex metrics, strong management, and aggressive enforcement and surveillance to focus policing on high crime risk persons and places. The tactics endemic to the "newpolicing"gave rise in the 1990s to popular, legal, political, and social science concerns about disparate treatment of minority groups in their everyday encounters with law enforcement. Empirical evidence showed that minorities were indeed stopped and arrested more frequently than similarly situated Whites, even when controlling for local social and …


Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women, Kimberlé W. Crenshaw, Andrea J. Ritchie, Rachel Anspach, Rachel Gilmer, Luke Harris Jan 2015

Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women, Kimberlé W. Crenshaw, Andrea J. Ritchie, Rachel Anspach, Rachel Gilmer, Luke Harris

Faculty Scholarship

Say Her Name sheds light on Black women’s experiences of police violence in an effort to support a gender-inclusive approach to racial justice that centers all Black lives equally. It is our hope that this document will serve as a tool for the resurgent racial justice movement to mobilize around the stories of Black women who have lost their lives to police violence ...Our goal is not to offer a comprehensive catalog of police violence against Black women – indeed, it would be impossible to do so as there is currently no accurate data collection on police killings nationwide, no …


Probabilities, Perceptions, Consequences And "Discrimination": One Puzzle About Controversial "Stop And Frisk", Kent Greenawalt Jan 2014

Probabilities, Perceptions, Consequences And "Discrimination": One Puzzle About Controversial "Stop And Frisk", Kent Greenawalt

Faculty Scholarship

A troubling aspect of the practice of "stop and frisk" in New York and other cities is the evidence that this police tactic is employed predominantly against young men in racial minorities. On August 12, 2013, the federal district court ruled in Floyd v. City of New York that New York's practices and policies regarding stop and frisk violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and its Due Process Clause, which makes the Fourth Amendment ban on "unreasonable searches and seizures" applicable against the states. Judge Shira A. Scheindlin found that a number of specific stops and subsequent …


Henry Louis Gates And Racial Profiling: What's The Problem?, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2009

Henry Louis Gates And Racial Profiling: What's The Problem?, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

A string of recent studies has documented significant racial disparities in police stops, searches, and arrests across the country. The issue of racial profiling, however, did not receive national attention until the arrest of Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., at his home in Cambridge. This raises three questions: First, did Sergeant Crowley engage in racial profiling when he arrested Professor Gates? Second, why does it take the wrongful arrest of a respected member of an elite community to focus the attention of the country? Third, why is racial profiling so pervasive in American policing?

The answers to these questions are …


A Reader's Companion To Against Prediction: A Reply To Ariela Gross, Yoram Margalioth, And Yoav Sapir On Economic Modeling, Selective Incapacitation, Governmentality, And Race, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2007

A Reader's Companion To Against Prediction: A Reply To Ariela Gross, Yoram Margalioth, And Yoav Sapir On Economic Modeling, Selective Incapacitation, Governmentality, And Race, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

From parole prediction instruments and violent sexual predator scores to racial profiling on the highways, instruments to predict future dangerousness, drug-courier profiles, and IRS computer algorithms to detect tax evaders, the rise of actuarial methods in the field of crime and punishment presents a number of challenging issues at the intersection of economic theory, sociology, history, race studies, criminology, social theory, and law. The three review essays of "Against Prediction" by Ariela Gross, Yoram Margalioth, and Yoav Sapir, raise these challenges in their very best light. Ranging from the heights of poststructuralist and critical race theory to the intricate details …


New Frameworks For Racial Equality In The Criminal Law, Jeffery Fagan, Mukul Bakhshi Jan 2007

New Frameworks For Racial Equality In The Criminal Law, Jeffery Fagan, Mukul Bakhshi

Faculty Scholarship

This Symposium, " Pursuing Racial Fairness in the Administration of Justice: Twenty Years After McClesky v. Kemp," was conceived and inspired by Theodore Shaw, Director-Counsel and President of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. Ted Shaw and his staff worked with Columbia Law School Professor Jeffrey Fagan to recruit an outstanding group of scholars and activists who met on March 2-3, 2007 to hear and comment on the articles appearing in this Symposium. In addition to the authors whose work appears in this issue, many others made important contributions to the Symposium through their commentaries and presentations. These …


Muslim Profiles Post-9/11: Is Racial Profiling An Effective Counterterrorist Measure And Does It Violate The Right To Be Free From Discrimination?, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2006

Muslim Profiles Post-9/11: Is Racial Profiling An Effective Counterterrorist Measure And Does It Violate The Right To Be Free From Discrimination?, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

Racial profiling as a defensive counterterrorism measure necessarily implicates a rights trade-off: if effective, racial profiling limits the right of young Muslim men to be free from discrimination in order to promote the security and well-being of others. Proponents of racial profiling argue that it is based on simple statistical fact and represents just smart law enforcement. Opponents of racial profiling, like New York City police commissioner Raymond Kelly, say that it is dangerous and just nuts.

As a theoretical matter, both sides are partly right. Racial profiling in the context of counterterrorism measures may increase the detection of terrorist …


Against Prediction: Sentencing, Policing, And Punishing In An Actuarial Age, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2005

Against Prediction: Sentencing, Policing, And Punishing In An Actuarial Age, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

Actuarial methods – i.e., the use of statistical rather than clinical methods on large datasets of criminal offending rates to determine different levels of offending associated with one or more group traits, in order to (1) predict past, present or future criminal behavior and (2) administer a criminal justice outcome – now permeates the criminal law and its enforcement. With the single exception of racial profiling against African-Americans and Hispanics, most people view the turn to the actuarial as efficient, rational, and wealth-maximizing. The fact is, law enforcement agencies can detect more crime with the same resources if they investigate …


Rethinking Racial Profiling: A Critique Of The Economics, Civil Liberties, And Constitutional Literature, And Of Criminal Profiling More Generally, Bernard Harcourt Jan 2004

Rethinking Racial Profiling: A Critique Of The Economics, Civil Liberties, And Constitutional Literature, And Of Criminal Profiling More Generally, Bernard Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

New reporting requirements and data collection efforts by over four hundred law enforcement agencies across the country – including entire states such as Maryland, Missouri, and Washington – are producing a continuous flow of new evidence on highway police searches. For the most part, the data consistently show disproportionate searches of African-American and Hispanic motorists in relation to their estimated representation on the road. Economists, civil liberties advocates, legal and constitutional scholars, political scientists, lawyers, and judges are poring over the new data and reaching, in many cases, quite opposite conclusions about racial profiling.


Street Stops And Broken Windows: Terry, Race And Disorder In New York City, Jeffery Fagan, Garth Davies Jan 2000

Street Stops And Broken Windows: Terry, Race And Disorder In New York City, Jeffery Fagan, Garth Davies

Faculty Scholarship

Patterns of "stop and frisk" activity by police across New York City neighborhoods reflect competing theories of aggressive policing. "Broken Windows" theory suggest that neighborhoods with greater concentration of physical and social disorder should evidence higher stop and frisk activity, especially for "quality of life" crimes. However, although disorder theory informs quality of life policing strategies, patterns of stop and frisk activity suggest that neighborhood characteristics such as racial composition, poverty levels, and extent of social disorganization are stronger predictors of race- and crime-specific stops. Accordingly, neighborhood "street stop" activity reflects competing assumptions and meanings of policing strategy. Furthermore, looking …