ACLU Seeks Access to FBI Data That Could Invite Racial Profiling

The American Civil Liberties Union has asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to reveal records relating to the FBI’s use of race and ethnicity data in its criminal investigations, according to PR Newswire. The request covers FBI field offices in 29 states, including Colorado. The ACLU’s position is that this data could be used by the FBI or by local law enforcement officers for unconstitutional racial profiling.

The FBI has recently begun exercising its power to collect race and ethnicity data in order to help the agency better understand various localities in the U.S. The FBI has been collecting race and ethnicity data since 2009, but very little is known about the procedures the FBI uses to collect the data or what the agency does with it once they have it.

The ACLU sees the data collection as “a race-based domestic intelligence program with…troubling implications for civil rights,” according to ACLU staff attorney Melissa Goodman. One major concern is that the FBI or other law enforcement agencies will step up patrols and even arrests in areas high in racial and/or ethnic minorities with no evidence that crime is actually higher in these areas. This puts an unfair burden on racial and ethnic communities and also wastes law enforcement resources, which are best used when targeted specifically to areas experiencing high crime in Colorado and nationwide.

Unfortunately, racial profiling is a real concern for minorities throughout the United States. If you have been arrested for or charged with a crime, please contact an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney. The criminal defense lawyers at The Bussey Law Firm P.C. will help you discover if racial profiling or other law enforcement misconduct played a role in your case, and will fight to protect your Constitutional rights while seeking the best possible outcome for your case. Call The Bussey Law Firm P.C. today at 719-475-2555 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

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