Should cops target black people for ID checks?

Should cops target black people for ID checks?
Photo: DPA

A German court ruled this week that police are allowed to use skin colour as a reason for spot-checks when looking for people breaking immigration laws. Is that justified? Have your say.


The ruling emerged from the case of a young black German man who said he was so sick of repeatedly being asked for his ID in his own country that he refused to do so without being given a good reason.

The Koblenz court ruled that the police were justified in using a person’s appearance, including skin colour, to decide whether to check their ID, provoking outrage from the man and his lawyer. One human rights lawyer told The Local the judge was not fit for office.

The young man on the train, who asked not to be named, told The Local he had been stopped and asked for his ID many times – and that the humiliation of this happening repeatedly in his own country had made him furious.

Although it might seem logical for police carrying out spot-checks to select people on the basis of their appearance, doing so is likely to alienate those Germans whose skin is not white.

The UK and US have a long and bitter experience of minorities who become alienated by police racial profiling. Is it worth the damage that such policies do to society? Or is it justified in the hunt for people breaking immigration and residency laws? Have your say below.

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