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Race, Ethnicity, and PolicingNew and Essential Readings$
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Stephen K. Rice and Michael D. White

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814776155

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814776155.001.0001

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Racially Biased Policing

Racially Biased Policing

A Review of the Judicial and Legislative Literature

(p.140) Chapter 6 Racially Biased Policing
Race, Ethnicity, and Policing

Delores Jones-Brown

Brian A. Maule

NYU Press

This chapter provides an overview of the fundamental constitutional rights that inform the study of race, ethnicity, and policing; the socio-legal background in which these rights are embedded; and the conditions under which judicial and legislative bodies take to protect them. It contends that the U.S. Supreme Court has been ineffectual in establishing a clear standard on the impermissible role of race as the sole determinant of reasonable suspicion. When coupled with decisions that have expanded the scope of police discretion, these failures make racially biased policing legally invisible in the absence of direct admissions or overt racial epithets by police during traffic or pedestrian stops. The chapter outlines cases that expand police discretionary authority in ways that enhance the likelihood of racially biased policing. It concludes with a discussion of successful settlements of racial profiling lawsuits and an account of legislation that covers data collection on racial and ethnic profiling.

Keywords:   constitutional rights, race, ethnicity, policing, U.S. Supreme Court, reasonable suspicion, racially biased policing, police discretion, pedestrian stops, racial profiling

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