racial profiling questions

  Suppose your police department once did profile but by policy no longer does. What person or incident changed the policy?

Ask your local law enforcement how they select whom they stop for traffic violations. Do they have an official policy about "profiling"? What kind of training do police get on this matter in the academy? Is this training ongoing for veteran officers?

Are there circumstances in which police think profiling is useful? Ask about times when profiling "worked" and when it "failed." Check out the claim that it "worked," interviewing the people who were involved. Did it REALLY work?

  Interview a variety of black men from many backgrounds and professions. Ask them their experiences about being stopped by police. Be certain to listen to how their experiences affected them. BEFORE you use those interviews, check the driving backgrounds of the people you interview, often available for a few dollars from your Department of Motor Vehicles. You don't want to be surprised a day later to learn you used a repeat offense drunk or reckless driver who took the opportunity to complain about police.

  Are there current or former lawsuits pending in your local court system about this matter? Does your police department use windshield-mounted cameras? Would these tapes be used in evidence of lawsuits?

  Expand this story to include US Customs and Immigration profiling. This may be especially relevant to markets with an international airport.

  How could you use this study to expand your reporting about profiling that takes place in many other ways? Teenagers often complain that they are closely watched when they go shopping. While this study centers on black Americans, what would other minorities say?