French cops use racial profiling for stop and search

Chris sez,

In France, there's no provision for monitoring ethnicity under the law. This is not an altogether bad thing, but it makes it impossible for anyone to get data about police 'ethnic profiling' [what us Brits call 'racial discrimination'] in the way that they treat members of visible minorities.

With no official data to go on, and no official co-operation, French researchers surreptitiously staked out areas of heavy police presence, and then noted the ethnicity of people stopped, before approaching them and conducting their own follow-up interviews. Their methodology needed to be pretty robust to make sure that this rather innovative way of collecting data did not bias the sample.

The results are pretty conclusive: even allowing for the nature of the population in the public space, if you are of Black appearance, you are more than six times more likely to be stopped than in you look White. People who look like Arabs are more than seven times more likely than Whites to be stopped.

What's to be done? The report makes a number of practical suggestions.

Profiling Minorities: A Study of Stop-and-Search Practices in Paris (PDF)

(Thanks, Chris!)