Racial Profiling

Nearly two-thirds (65%) say police commonly “stop motorists and pedestrians of certain racial or ethnic backgrounds because the officer believes that these groups are more likely than others to commit certain types of crimes.” Another 63% also oppose police using racial profiling for traffic and pedestrian stops. (Furthermore, 63% of Americans oppose racial profiling).

An overwhelming majority of African Americans (81%) believe the police regularly racially profile. A majority of Hispanics (70%) and Caucasians (62%) agree.

Democrats (80%) are considerably more likely than Republicans (53%) and independents (61%) to believe the police engage in racial profiling. Ideological Conservatives comprise the only political group with a majority (54%) who believe racial profiling does not commonly occur. In contrast, majorities of Liberals (87%), Communitarians (67%), and Libertarians (63%) think police routinely racially profile. (See Appendix A for definitions of ideological clusters.)


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