How Federal Judge Arrived at “Indirect Racial Profiling” Conclusion in NYC


Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin’s finding that New York City police had violated the 14th Amendment by engaging in racial profiling in “stop and frisk” operations was the most controversial part of her ruling, says the New York Times. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly he found the racial profiling characterization “most disturbing and offensive,” as well as “recklessly untrue.” Scheindlin coined a term, “indirect racial profiling,” to explain how the department's reliance on data indicating that black men committed a disproportionate amount of crime led to what she saw as violations of the Constitution. Three items of evidence backed up her conclusion: One witness claimed to have heard Kelly say that the stop-and-frisk tactics were intended to frighten minority men into leaving any guns they owned at home. A precinct commander described “the right people” to stop, with a reference to young black men. A statistical analysis of millions of police interactions revealed that few people subjected to stop-and-frisk methods had been engaging in wrongdoing.

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