• A U.S. Department of Justice report states that African Americans were 20 percent more likely to be stopped by the police than white Americans were. It also documented that police were more than twice as likely to search the car of an African American or Hispanic driver than a vehicle driven by a white person.
  • In 1998, four young men (three African Americans and one Hispanic) were stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike for allegedly speeding. Their van began to roll backwards (the young men claim by accident), and the officers responded by opening fire and shooting all four men. The two officers involved in the turnpike shooting were indicted for falsely listing the black motorists as white in their reports. In the wake of this incident, the New Jersey State Police released statistics relating to traffic stops on the turnpike that indicated a clear pattern of racial profiling.
  • San Diego Chargers football player Shawn Lee was pulled over on Interstate 15 in California. The officer proceeded to handcuff him and his girlfriend and detained them along the side of the road for thirty minutes. The police claimed Lee was stopped because his vehicle fit the description of one stolen earlier that evening. The stolen vehicle, however, was a Honda sedan and Lee was driving a Jeep Cherokee.
  • Nelson Walker, a young Liberian man, was pulled over by Maryland State Troopers along I-95. The police claimed he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. The officers held him and his two passengers for two hours as they searched his car. A cursory search yielded no drugs or weapons, so the police proceeded to dismantle Walker’s car. They removed the door panel, seat panel, and part of the sunroof. The officers again found nothing, and left Walker with only a screwdriver to repair his vehicle.
  • During the early 1990s, Illinois State Troopers conducted a special drug interdiction program code-named “Operation Valkyrie,” which singled out Hispanic motorists. Hispanics make up less than eight percent of Illinois’s population, but accounted for 30 percent of the motorists stopped and 27 percent of the searches conducted during the operation. Even though troopers searched a higher percentage of Hispanic-driven vehicles, they found drugs in vehicles driven by white motorists more frequently.
  • The Houston Chronicle analyzed millions of Texans’ driving records and found that in predominately-white communities near the state’s major urban areas; minority drivers were twice as likely as whites to be ticketed.
  • In 1997, Maryland State Troopers stopped Charles and Etta Carter, an elderly African American couple. The troopers proceeded to search their car with drug-sniffing dogs. The Carters had their belongings strewn along the highway, including their daughter’s wedding dress, where their things were trampled and urinated on by police dogs. After a lengthy period of detention, no drugs were found and no tickets were issued.