Profiling Law & Legal Definition


Profiling refers to the law enforcement practice of the detention, interdiction, or other disparate treatment of an individual on the basis of the racial or ethnic status of such individual. Many communities have adopted laws to deal with this illegal practice, and some make racial profiling training available to their law enforcement agencies.

Racial profiling laws are generally adopted voluntarily and vary by locality. For example, racial profiling laws may require law enforcement officers to report certain information for analysis, such as:

  1. The name, address, gender, and the officer’s subjective determination of the race of the person stopped; Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic, Native American/Alaska Native, or Asian/Pacific Islander.
  2. Alleged traffic violation that led to the stop of the motorist.
  3. The make and year of the vehicle stopped.
  4. The date and time of stop.
  5. The location of the stop.
  6. Whether or not a search contemporaneous to the stop was conducted of the vehicle, driver, passenger, and if so whether it was with consent or by other means.
  7. The name and badge number of the issuing officer.