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4 Steps for Victims of Racial Profiling by SC Police

4 Steps for Victims of Racial Profiling by SC Police

What to Do After Racial Profiling by South Carolina Police

In today’s polarized political climate, controversies surrounding racial violence and racial profiling by U.S. law enforcement are more prominent than ever. Racial profiling by law enforcement can result in citizens reaping unjust criminal penalties and other life-altering consequences.

Often, racial profiling can result in considerable damage that extends far beyond the legal implications. Such misconduct by police can lead to significant harm to a person's health and overall well-being, in addition to threatening their freedom, safety, and future. What steps can defendants take if they suspect they’re a victim of racial profiling by South Carolina police?

Keep reading to learn more about pursuing justice after experiencing racist acts by law enforcement.

What Is Racial Profiling?

Racial profiling is the practice of targeting individuals based on their race, ethnicity, or national origin rather than their behavior or credible evidence of criminal activity. Unfortunately, this type of discrimination is a prevalent issue in South Carolina and throughout the United States.

Although racial profiling can manifest in various ways, some common examples include:

  • Being pulled over or approached by police on the basis of race or color without a legitimate legal reason (e.g., “probable cause”)
  • Facing unnecessary searches or questioning based on racial stereotypes
  • Being monitored, followed, or investigated solely due to your racial background
  • Individuals from specific racial or ethnic groups being targeted, singled out, or unfairly suspected

There are many red flags of racial profiling by law enforcement, and it’s important to stay proactive and exercise your rights when needed. While it can be challenging to definitively determine if profiling has occurred, some common red flags include:

  • Disproportionate targeting – Experiencing repeated encounters with law enforcement that seem disproportionate to your behavior or involvement in criminal activity.
  • Inconsistent enforcement – Observing law enforcement applying different standards or levels of scrutiny to different racial or ethnic groups.
  • Subjective reasoning – Witnessing officers provide vague or subjective justifications for their actions that appear rooted in racial bias.
  • Pre-textual stops – Being pulled over or detained for minor infractions that may not typically warrant such attention, such as a broken taillight or expired registration.

4 Steps to Take After Being Racially Profiled by Police

If you suspect that you’re a victim of police racial profiling, it’s imperative to take swift legal action to protect your rights and defend against lifechanging repercussions in court. A qualified defense attorney can negotiate effectively on your behalf and fortify your case with sufficient evidence to clear your name and reinstate the American freedom that you are rightfully entitled to.

Consider taking the following steps to maximize your chance of success in court:

  1. Seek legal representation immediately. Your lawyer can utilize their in-depth legal knowledge and skillset to ensure that law enforcement, however revered or respected, are held accountable for their wrongful actions, just like any other citizen under the law.
  2. Invoke your rights. In the unfortunate event of an unlawful arrest, it’s crucial for defendants to invoke their American rights, including the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. It’s vital to decline questioning until your lawyer can be present to avoid potential self-incrimination.
  3. Document the encounter(s) with law enforcement. As soon as possible, write down all of the details of the incident. Be sure to include officers' names, badge numbers, locations, times, and any biased language used whenever possible. You may also consider including photos or video footage with your lawyer’s approval.
  4. Decline to consent to unwarranted searches by police. If law enforcement requests consent to conduct a search (such as investigating your home, vehicle, or person), it's critical to decline until your lawyer can be present and the police present an official court-issued warrant. Even if you have nothing to hide, don't leave your fate to chance. If any incriminating information, whether forgotten, misplaced, or planted, escaped your notice prior to consenting to an unwarranted search, that evidence will be admissible in criminal court.

Importance of Hiring Skilled Representation

An experienced criminal defense attorney can be an invaluable resource to pursue justice after police racial profiling. A qualified lawyer can assist with the following:

  • Customizing an effective legal strategy to employ on your behalf
  • Assessing the unique circumstances of your case to determine its validity
  • Ensuring that your rights remain protected throughout the duration of the legal proceedings
  • Guiding you through the intricacies of the legal processes and procedures, such as required paperwork, important deadlines, and court appearances
  • Seeking damages on your behalf by proving the violation of your civil rights

Remember, racial profiling is unjust and unconstitutional. By taking proactive steps to defend your rights and seeking legal support, you contribute to the fight against racial profiling and help create a more just and equitable society for all. If you’ve been victimized by racial profiling at the hands of law enforcement, it’s essential to seek sound counsel from an experienced lawyer.

Defending the Accused in Lexington Since 2004

While no one intends to be charged with a crime, accruing criminal charges can be unavoidable, even for honest and well-meaning people. Fortunately, the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC has diligently defended the rights of hardworking South Carolinians in Lexington and beyond since 2004.

When facing criminal charges, securing strong representation from a trusted criminal defense attorney is nonnegotiable to defend your hard-earned reputation and restore your freedom. Reach out to our firm to learn how our seasoned advocates can preserve your future by fighting to reduce or drop the charges against you.

A criminal conviction can derail your future in the blink of an eye. If you’re facing criminal charges, call (803) 359-3301 to schedule a free case evaluation


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