Racial profiling in law enforcement is a contentious matter, particularly in light of U.S. police-citizen race tensions. The racial profiling debate has not been settled. Racial profiling proponents view it as a tool to effectively uncover criminal activity among certain racial groups. Critics find that racial profiling perpetuates racial stigmas and is largely inefficient as a policing tool. This article explores the ongoing debate and offers an overview of the Canadian judicial experience with racial profiling. The author proposes a middle-ground solution where racial profiling may be used under certain constraints imposed on law enforcement. The author suggests that the Crown provide justificatory evidence for the use of racial profiling when it is raised as a defence by the accused.

This article is helpful for readers seeking to learn more about:

  • racial profiling, race-based profiling, driving while Black, police oversight, police accountability

Topics in this article include:

  • race, racism, racial stigmas, police, policing tools, law enforcement, evidentiary burden, policing tool, and discrimination, Canada, United States, Tupac Shakur, Donald Marshall Jr, Neil Stonechild, Aboriginals, Vietnamese, Punjabis, South Asians, police officers, marijuana, traffic stop, traffic stops

Authorities cited in this article includes:

  • Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • Stonechild Inquiry
  • Royal Commission on the Donald Marshall Jr. Prosecution
  • R v Khan (2004), 244 DLR (4th) (Ont Sup Ct)
  • R v Mann 2004 SCC 52.