Profiling Allegation Intake Questions
Start with usual questions establishing location, identities, witnesses, time, etc, from general intake question list.
Tailor questions based on the category of profiling alleged, e.g. racial, gender-based, or other status protected under state or federal law. Keep in mind that perceived status can be a basis for biased conduct; the complainant does not have to actually be a member of the protected group, based on their own self-identification (e.g. If an officer thought the CO was gay based on their voice, and the CO does not identify as gay, still ask the same questions about profiling).
- You indicated that the officer’s actions may have been based on ______ bias. Can you tell me, in your own words, what led you to that conclusion?
- Did the officer make any statements that indicate bias?
- What action or behavior of the officer indicates bias?
- At what point did you first notice/see/hear the officer?
- At what point do you believe the officer first observed you?
- Ask clarifying questions to determine when the complainant believes the officer would have been able to observe any identifying features that might have led the officer to categorize the person as a member of the protected status (e.g. when could the officer first see the person’s clothing, skin color, wheelchair, etc.) If in a vehicle, what were the visibility conditions?
- Ask clarifying questions to determine which features/attributes/dress the complainant believes would lead the officer to make assumptions about the complainant’s protected status.
- What was the first thing the officer said or did?
- What was the first thing you said or did?
- Why do you believe you were stopped (/questioned/searched)?
- If the perception is based in intuition/ “gut feeling”, probe for all details leading up to, and helping to form, the perception: could include tone of voice, looks, other subjective factors.
- What led up to the interaction with the officer?
- Did the officer say whether they were dispatched (/did someone call the police)?
- Did the officer mention having a suspect description?
- If yes, what was the description?
- How did you fit or not fit that description?
- (If relevant to description) Do you have a photograph of yourself from the time of this incident?
- How long did the interaction last?
- Have you had similar interactions? How did they compare?
- Did the officer ask any questions that you perceived to be unusual?
- Did the officer ask you about parole or probation status? What led up to that question?
- Did the officer ask any questions about gang membership or gang association?
- If not sure/unclear: Any questions about tattoos? Hats? Colors you were wearing? People you might know?
- Did the officer search you, your vehicle, or your belongings? Tell me about that.
- Probe for details about consent, type of search, extent of search, and anything the officer said about reasons for the search.
- Did the officer handcuff you? Tell me about that.
- Did the officer point a gun? Tell me about that.
- Did the officer give you any orders or commands?
- What happened after those commands?
- What was your response?
- If CO uses the word “complied” or “complying”, probe for specific actions taken by CO.
- Did the officer cite or arrest you?
- Did you request a supervisor?
- Did a supervisor respond?
- To whom, if anyone, have you already reported your concerns?