Citing a “state-by-state analysis,” Amnesty International on Monday issued a report estimating that 121,033 Utahns have been victims of racial profiling. However, Amnesty conducted no research in Utah, used national-level data to arrive at its state-level conclusions and conceded that nearly half of those it counted as victims were white. Similar problems exist throughout Amnesty’s much-publicized nationwide report.
“At face value, it seems like a poorly conducted study,” said Gary Levy, director of institutional analysis at the University of Utah. “The finding might be true, but it’s not based on good methodology.” Indeed, local civil rights activists say racial profiling is a problem in the Beehive State, one left underexplained by Amnesty’s simplistic calculations and cookie-cutter criticism of Utah’s laws.