Neighborhood and Racial Profiling in Arizona
Did profiling play a role in your charges? It’s reasonable that profiling could be at the heart of your case and may have unfairly been used against you. But, where is the limit between reasonable profiling as part of police work, and excessive profiling that leads to unfair charges and unfair handling of a case? Learn what neighborhood and racial profiling can mean for your criminal charges.
What is Profiling?
Profiling is the act of law enforcement detaining and other ill-treatment of individuals based on racial, ethnic, or even socio-economic factors. While many communities have put laws into place in an effort to dissuade racial profiling, however, Arizona has done just the opposite.
Anti-immigration laws have laid a foundation for Arizona police departments to instigate searches, demand paperwork, and issue charges based on nothing more than suspicion. That is profiling at its worst. It is possible that profiling has played a role in your charges. Between racial profiling and neighborhood profiling, no one is exempt from the possible accusations of the Arizona police forces.
Is There a Difference Between Racial Profiling and Neighborhood Profiling?
Racial profiling is not the only type of profiling. Neighborhood profiling is just as much a problem, and often it is how police stay busy. However, racial profiling in the form of profiling that grabs more attention among communities and with the media.
Racial profiling will often result in charges, harassment, or detainment based directly on the person’s race or appearance. These are the cases when people are hassled or arrested for ‘driving while black’ or being accused of violent crime based on nothing more than appearance.
Arizona particularly stands out in that it pushes officers to racially profile. The anti-immigration law, for example, allows officers to request a person’s documentation of their citizenship or immigration status simply based on “reasonable suspicion.” Although the goal of that law was to identify illegal immigrants, it allowed police to cross that line into approaching people with charges in mind based on race.
Neighborhood profiling is often what happens when police will cruise through a neighborhood to find a crime rather than being called out. For example, if police respond to domestic violence calls in one neighborhood often, then they will patrol the area waiting for another issue to arise.
Profiling Leading to False Accusations
Until the time that you receive a verdict in your case, you’ll be referred to as “the accused,” but it is very possible to experience false accusations. Profiling is often the source of false accusations, and within Arizona, it isn’t any different.
If you were falsely charged or arrested and facing pending charges because of racial profiling, you might consider hiring a good criminal trial lawyer. Standard defense attorneys might justify or even defend the act of profiling and not be able to see the impact that it has on you, your neighborhood, and your immediate community. It can be a challenge to prove that profiling led to false charges.