UK gov't wants to legalize racial profiling

In the UK, the police can stop and search you without cause or a warrant, as part of the special "anti-terrorism" rules. Justice is far from blind (or fair), though: black people in the UK are 26 times more likely to be stopped, frisked, have their bags turned out and be made to explain themselves than white people. This is clearly a violation of the stop-and-search rules, which forbid racial profiling.

So the new UK Tory-LibDem government is going to fix it: they're going to make racial profiling legal.

The Home Office says it intends to press ahead and introduce the guidance allowing race to be taken into account when a police officer stops someone if it is judged to be relevant. It says race cannot be the sole reason for deciding to conduct a search, and the government insists the new measures will "protect civil liberties"…

The issue of the police stop-and-search powers is particularly controversial because officers are more likely to target a minority ethnic person than someone who is white. African-Caribbean people are already at least six times more likely to be stopped than white people under powers where an officer has reasonable suspicion to carry out a search.

The Home Office proposals cover stops where officers do not require reasonable suspicion, a power they have under section 60 of the Public Order Act, meaning police have maximum discretion. For these stops black people are 26 times more likely than white people to be targeted. Critics say this is blatant discrimination.

Stop and search plans are 'discriminatory', watchdog warns