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Racially motivated police investigations should not be tolerated

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Boston is a diverse city and Massachusetts in general is the home to many ethnic groups. Because people live together in relative harmony despite their differences, it does not necessarily mean that law enforcement investigations and arrests are similarly fair.

Much has been said in recent years about how police and other law enforcement entities might judge a person based on the color of their skin, their perceived national origin or religion when investigating potential crimes. This is especially prevalent in traffic stops. Those who are mistreated, oppressed and wrongfully charged with crimes should understand that they have rights.

Recent complaint filed in Massachusetts centered on racial profiling

Two Black men who were subject to a traffic stop has led to a claim of racial profiling against Medford police. According to their internal complaint with the Medford Police Department, the men were stopped in July 2021 after they saw several law enforcement vehicles following them. Some made U-turns specifically for the pursuit.

After they were stopped, police told them to get out of their vehicle. An alleged unlawful search was conducted, they were handcuffed without being told why and more than 10 officers held them at gunpoint. Officers did not find anything to warrant an arrest. When the men asked why they had been stopped, they did not receive anything more than random responses about a tip that they might have had a gun.

Understanding racial and criminal profiling

People need to be cognizant of exactly what racial profiling and criminal profiling mean to know if they might have been a victim of it. Law enforcement that targets people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin or religion are using racial profiling tactics. With criminal profiling, it means that law enforcement is categorizing certain individuals as likely to commit crimes and pursuing them because of it even if they have done nothing wrong.

This differs from pursuing a suspect because of a description that might fit the person who has an encounter with the police. It is used as an identifying factor. However, if the investigation has no justification other than the person’s appearance and perceived beliefs, then it is a form of profiling. Not only can these cases result in a wrongful arrest, but the person being investigated can be physically injured or even lose their lives.

People arrested and racially profiled should think about their rights

Those who were arrested, had their civil rights violated or were confronted with a combination of these issues must think about the future. To hold the police accountable while simultaneously fighting the charges, it is imperative to have professional assistance. Speaking to those who are experienced in all areas of criminal defense while being dialed in with underrepresented communities who might be victimized in this way is key.

Regardless of the charges whether it is driving under the influence, theft, drugs, acts of violence or any other allegation, consulting with those who take the client’s cause as their own is imperative from the outset. This is vital in cases where the charges may have been racially motivated or were worse than they would have been if it was not a minority.

Everyone should be viewed on equal ground in general, but that is especially true in a legal case. Having comprehensive – and objective – guidance can analyze the circumstances, gauge the evidence and decide on an effective pathway to deal with the allegations as part of the criminal defense. People in these situations should strive to have honest representation that does not over-promise, but can deliver a positive outcome.