AGAINST RACIAL PROFILING†

AGAINST RACIAL PROFILING†

A police officer sees a suspicious bulge in the pocket of a passing pedestrian and de-
liberates whether to stop and search. The pedestrian is also a young, black man,

and from past searches and convictions, the police arguably know that such men

are much likelier than other people to carry an illegal firearm. Should the police offi-
cer be instructed to take this information into account? This article objects to racial

profiling because it relies on the following type of inference: from the individual’s

membership of a certain racial group, the searcher is invited to infer that the indi-
vidual is likelier to exhibit some culpable behaviour. The article shows that such an

inference to culpable behaviour requires contradictory presuppositions about the free-
dom of the suspected behaviour. On the one hand, racial profiling ought to presup-
pose that the individual suspect’s behaviour is unfree because the inference it

involves takes the suspect’s behaviour to be determined by his race, age, and gender,
none of which is within his control. On the other hand, similarly to criminal trials,
search practices ought also to presuppose the exact opposite: that the individual is
free to determine his own behaviour. If the suspected behaviour is free, the involved

inference to culpable behaviour is not probative of the individual suspect’s beha-
viour, so profiling methods which rely on it are useless. And if the suspected beha-
viour is unfree, the inference is probative, but the suspect is not culpable and should

thus not be put to trial, whatever the profiled search yields.
Keywords: freedom, causation, policing, searches, criminal process

A police officer sees a suspicious bulge in the pocket of a passing pedes-
trian and deliberates whether to stop and search. While the bulge is not

necessarily proof of carrying an illegal firearm, it is certainly a legitimate
indication. The pedestrian is also a young, black man, and from past
searches and convictions, the police arguably know that such men are
much likelier than other people to carry an illegal firearm. Should the
police officer be instructed to take this information into account? The
issue is not limited to policing, as some Muslims who are regularly
* Lecturer, Buchmann Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
† I would like to thank the University of Toronto Law Journal, the anonymous referees, and
the editor, David Dyzenhaus, for helping me improve the quality of this article. I am deeply

grateful to Ronen Avraham, Yitzhak Benbaji, Antje du Bois-Pedain, François du Bois, Ha-
noch Dagan, Benjamin Eidelson, Ariel Porat, Guy Sela, Victor Tadros, and Charlie Webb

for their constructive and helpful comments. I also benefited from engaging discussions
with participants of workshops at Oxford, Cambridge, St Andrews, and Tel Aviv. The

research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community’s Se-
venth Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under Grant Agreement 299653.

(Spring 2017) UTLJ © UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO PRESS

Fountain Writers
Calculate your paper price
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why Work with Us

Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers

We always make sure that writers follow all your instructions precisely. You can choose your academic level: high school, college/university or professional, and we will assign a writer who has a respective degree.

Professional and Experienced Academic Writers

We have a team of professional writers with experience in academic and business writing. Many are native speakers and able to perform any task for which you need help.

Free Unlimited Revisions

If you think we missed something, send your order for a free revision. You have 10 days to submit the order for review after you have received the final document. You can do this yourself after logging into your personal account or by contacting our support.

Prompt Delivery and 100% Money-Back-Guarantee

All papers are always delivered on time. In case we need more time to master your paper, we may contact you regarding the deadline extension. In case you cannot provide us with more time, a 100% refund is guaranteed.

Original & Confidential

We use several writing tools checks to ensure that all documents you receive are free from plagiarism. Our editors carefully review all quotations in the text. We also promise maximum confidentiality in all of our services.

24/7 Customer Support

Our support agents are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and committed to providing you with the best customer experience. Get in touch whenever you need any assistance.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

Total price:
$0.00

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

No need to work on your paper at night. Sleep tight, we will cover your back. We offer all kinds of writing services.

Essays

Essay Writing Service

No matter what kind of academic paper you need and how urgent you need it, you are welcome to choose your academic level and the type of your paper at an affordable price. We take care of all your paper needs and give a 24/7 customer care support system.

Admissions

Admission Essays & Business Writing Help

An admission essay is an essay or other written statement by a candidate, often a potential student enrolling in a college, university, or graduate school. You can be rest assurred that through our service we will write the best admission essay for you.

Reviews

Editing Support

Our academic writers and editors make the necessary changes to your paper so that it is polished. We also format your document by correctly quoting the sources and creating reference lists in the formats APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago / Turabian.

Reviews

Revision Support

If you think your paper could be improved, you can request a review. In this case, your paper will be checked by the writer or assigned to an editor. You can use this option as many times as you see fit. This is free because we want you to be completely satisfied with the service offered.