Racial profiling undermining moral authority of democracy in UK: Jesse Jackson

October 18th, 2010 - 2:47 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Oct 18(ANI): US civil rights campaigner Jesse Jackson has said that Britain’s image is being damaged by the government’s failure to stop the police from discriminating against ethnic minorities.

Jackson’s comment follows a report which shows that black people in Britain are 26 times more likely than whites to be stopped and searched by police under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, which was introduced to deal with football hooligans and the threat of serious violence.

“We’ve gone through this process in our country of ethnic and religious targeting. It resulted in disastrous consequences. Wherever it happens it undermines the moral authority of the democracy,” the Guardian quoted Jackson, as saying.

“It damages the image of Britain, because Britain is held in high esteem,” he added.

Jackson said it was a “moral outrage” and dismissed police claims that the disproportion was nothing to do with race.

“It is racial profiling. It’s as fundamental as that. It is based on sight, suspicion and fear. It’s a systematic pattern. In the US it is called driving while black. In Arizona it is called driving while Latino,” Jackson said.

“People who not long ago were colonised became immigrants, and now they are citizens. It is unfinished business … we have to give all citizens of Britain equal protection under the law,” he added.

The analysis by the London School of Economics and the Open Society Justice Initiative found that there are 41.6 Section 60 searches for every 1,000 black people, compared with 1.6 for every 1,000 white people.

Asians were 6.3 times more likely to be stopped than whites, according to the analysis of Ministry of Justice figures for 2008-09.

Researchers at the Open Society Justice Initiative said that the British figures provided the widest “race gap” in stop-and-search that they had found internationally.

The previous highest use of stop-and-search powers against ethnic groups was in Moscow, where non-Slavs are 21.8 times more likely to be stopped by Russian police than Slavs.

A study in Paris found that people of Arab appearance were seven times more likely to be stopped.

In New York, blacks are nine times more likely to be stopped than whites. (ANI)

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