Racial profiling was once thought the figment of an overactive minority imagination. Yet, recent media coverage has thrust the reality of racial bias in law enforcement into the national spotlight. Despite its newfound popularity, the real battle for equal protection and justice under the law has been quietly raging across American courtrooms for decades, and it is a battle that people of color continue to lose. This Note examines the judiciary'S tendency to excise racial perceptions and bias from its analysis of racial profiling cases under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. Focusing on the recent profiling case of Brown v. City of Oneonta, this Note suggests that the imposition of race ignorant standards is itself a subtle but powerful vestige of racial bias in the courtroom. By more broadly considering the subjective perceptions of both police and minority victims of discriminatory police practices, courts will be more responsive to the coercive nature of certain police stops, as well as the discriminatory intent behind abusive police investigations.
Peter A. Lyle,
Racial Profiling and the Fourth Amendment: Applying the Minority Victim Perspective to Ensure Equal Protection Under the Law,
B.C. Third World L.J.