Study: Racial Profiling Exists and is Ineffective at Crime Control

A new law enforcement study in Minnesota makes two important findings: Racial profiling exists--and it is ineffective at ferreting out crime.

Blacks, Latinos and American Indians are more likely than whites to be stopped by police and searched but much less likely to be found with anything illegal, a study of alleged racial profiling by Minnesota law enforcers showed Wednesday.

Analyzing more than 200,000 traffic stops, the report finds racial minorities (black, latino, American Indian) are stopped and searched more often than whites in almost every jurisdiction studied. Even though whites are stopped least often, once stopped they are found to have committed crimes at a much higher rate than racial minorities.

Bill Gillespie, executive director of the 7,000-member Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, said the study proves that white and minority suspects are handled differently but doesn't show why. He called the search findings the most disturbing. "That tells me some of those stops of minorities are fishing expeditions," he said. "That needs to be further explored."

So, not only is racial profiling found to exist, it is exposed as a patently ineffective policing tool.

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