Racial Profiling Law and Legal Definition

Racial profiling refers to the practice followed by law-enforcement officers of using race, national origin, or ethnicity as a salient basis for suspicion of criminal activity. Originally, the term referred to the practice of stopping a a large number of male African-American drivers on the assumption that they had a heightened likelihood of being involved in criminal activity. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the term was frequently used in reference to searching and interrogating Middle Eastern men at airports. This is also termed as ethnic profiling or profiling.

Example of State Statutes (Florida)on Racial Profiling.

Fla. Stat. § 316.614[ Title 23. Motor vehicles (chs. 316-325); Chapter 316. State Uniform Traffic Control ]


By January 1, 2006, each law enforcement agency in this state shall adopt departmental policies to prohibit the practice of racial profiling.


Fla. Stat. § 166.0493 [Title 12. Municipalities (Chs. 165-185);Chapter 166. Municipalities; Part I. General Provisions]

Powers, duties, and obligations of municipal law enforcement agencies

On or before January 1, 2002, every municipal law enforcement agency shall incorporate an antiracial or other antidiscriminatory profiling policy into the agency's policies and practices, utilizing the Florida Police Chiefs Association Model Policy as a guide. Antiprofiling policies shall include the elements of definitions, traffic stop procedures, community education and awareness efforts, and policies for the handling of complaints from the public.