Blacks and Latinos in North Carolina Pulled Over Nearly Twice the Rate of Whites

To combat racial profiling in the state, a justice organization is asking people to speak up and document their experiences.

Posted: 09/20/2012 12:55 PM EDT

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina is calling on victims of racial profiling to share their experience as part of a new campaign to stymie racial profiling in the state.

The campaign comes on the heels of a 2012 study by the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, which found that Black drivers in North Carolina are 77 percent more likely than white drivers to be searched [PDF] after a traffic stop. Hispanic drivers are 96 percent more likely than white drivers to be searched.

The disparity is highest in incidents when officers have the most leeway in deciding whether or not a violation was committed, such as seat belt and vehicle equipment issues, according to the study.

"I know for a fact that people drive around in fear," Susana Jerez of the Latin American Coalition told WCNC. "I just think there is a fundamental difference with that I'm not breaking any law, yet I know I can still be pulled over.”

The ACLU North Carolina has racial profiling complaint forms available online [PDF] for people to share their experiences and help the justice organization create public education, lobbying and community-based solutions. They will also determine after a number of responses are collected if legal action can be taken.

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(Photo:  NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

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