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  • Writer's pictureBrian Foley

Houston Criminal Defense Attorney - Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 2.131 Racial Profiling

Houston Criminal Defense Attorney - Brian Foley - Board Certified in Criminal Law

As a criminal defense lawyer in Houston, it's important to stay up-to-date on the latest laws and regulations that can impact your clients. One such law is Art. 2.131 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, which prohibits racial profiling by peace officers.

Racial profiling refers to the practice of law enforcement officers targeting individuals for suspicion of criminal activity based on their race, ethnicity, or national origin, rather than on their behavior or actions. This discriminatory practice has long been a concern in the United States and has been linked to a number of high-profile cases of police brutality and excessive force.

Fortunately, Texas has taken steps to combat racial profiling through Art. 2.131, which was added to the Code of Criminal Procedure in 2001. This law prohibits peace officers from engaging in racial profiling and provides a framework for individuals who have been subjected to such discrimination to seek redress.

However, despite the existence of this law, racial profiling remains a significant problem in Houston and throughout Texas. According to data from the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, black and Hispanic drivers are more likely to be pulled over and searched by police than white drivers, even though they are less likely to be carrying contraband.

Additionally, a 2019 study by the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University found that black and Hispanic Houston residents are more likely to be arrested for low-level offenses such as drug possession and trespassing, even though they are no more likely to engage in such behavior than white residents.

As a criminal defense lawyer, it's important to be aware of these statistics and to understand how they may impact your clients. If you believe that your client has been the victim of racial profiling, you may be able to challenge the legality of their arrest or search on the basis of Art. 2.131 and other relevant laws.

Ultimately, the prohibition of racial profiling is an important step toward ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and justly by law enforcement. As a criminal defense lawyer, it's important to stay informed about these laws and to work tirelessly to protect the rights of your clients.

Art. 2.131. RACIAL PROFILING PROHIBITED. A peace officer may not engage in racial profiling. Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 947, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

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