German Administrative Court Decides: Skin Color Valid Factor for Spot ID Checks

According to the administrative court of Koblenz, Germany, federal police may use skin color and appearance in general as a deciding factor in whom to spot check on rail lines that are frequently used by illegal immigrants.

In the case at hand, a police officer had asked a black German man to show ID. The man refused, being upset with being frequently selected for ID checks.

In court, the police officer explained he relied on his experience as a border patrol officer in deciding whom to spot check. One of his selection criteria was whether somebody looked foreign.

The court found that, in order to be more efficient, officers may use their experience when deciding whom to spot check. Whether this decision will spark racial profiling issues, like various U.S. immigration laws, remains to be seen.

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