Profiling Minorities: A Study of Stop-and-Search Practices in Paris

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Download the report in English (82 pages).
378.72 KB pdf
Download the report in French (84 pages).
389.68 KB pdf

Police officers in Paris consistently stop people on the basis of ethnicity and dress rather than on the basis of suspicious individual behavior, according to a report released by the Open Society Justice Initiative.

The report documents over 500 police stops over a one-year period and across five locations in and around the Gare du Nord train station and Châtelet-Les Halles commuter rail station.

The data show that blacks were between 3.3 and 11.5 times more likely than whites to be stopped; while Arabs were stopped between 1.8 and 14.8 more times than whites. The study also found a strong relationship between people's ethnicity, particular styles of clothing worn by young people, and the likelihood that they would be stopped.

The report recommends a number of reforms to identity check practices in Paris, including reform of law and policies that allow ethnic profiling; an explicit ban on discrimination by police officials; stronger criteria for the “reasonable suspicion” required to stop persons; and enhanced record-keeping and review of stops to assess their impact and promote better practice.

The complete report is available for download in English and French.