Complaints of racial profiling are not limited to law enforcement personnel. Some department and other retail stores have been accused of denying service or giving inferior service to members of minority groups. Several establishments, including Eddie Bauer, Dillard's Department Stores, and Denny's Restaurants, have been sued in highly publicized cases in which plaintiffs have alleged that the establishments have discriminated on the basis of race. Complaints of discrimination against Arabic and Middle Eastern individuals have also been raised against private companies. In April 2003, the . TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT submitted a complaint that American Airlines had removed from flights at least ten individuals suspected of being Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian, or Muslim.
Racial profiling is a longstanding and deeply troubling national problem despite claims that the United States has entered a “post-racial era.” It occurs every day, in cities and towns across the country, when law enforcement and private security target people of color for humiliating and often frightening detentions, interrogations, and searches without evidence of criminal activity and based on perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion. Racial profiling is patently illegal, violating the . Constitution ’ s core promises of equal protection under the law to all and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. Just as importantly, racial profiling is ineffective. It alienates communities from law enforcement, hinders community policing efforts, and causes law enforcement to lose credibility and trust among the people they are sworn to protect and serve.