The Invisible Harms of Racial Profiling

Cases involving race – and particularly racial profiling cases – are often decided on an individual basis. Courts look to whether or not there was an injury to an individual on the basis of race, and often conclude that there was not – either because race was not a determining factor in the police’s actions, or because the use of race as a factor in the decision to detain or arrest was outweighed by other factors.

One goal of our films is to show that in many of these cases, what the court is seeing on an individual level is, when you pull the camera back, also occurring on a group level. We are trying to make race, groups, and group harms – which are now largely invisible – visible to the courts. We are trying to show that what courts may visualize as a practice only affecting individuals in specific instances is, in fact, affecting larger groups, and that these groups are both disproportionately exposed to the practice and are suffering disproportionate harms as a result of their exposure.

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