Posted on December 16, 2011

Spain Police Accused of Rampant Racial Profiling

The Grio, December 14, 2011

Amnesty International on Wednesday accused Spanish authorities of using racial and ethnic profiling, with police singling out people who are not white in order to meet quotas.

In a new report, the human rights group said some police stations in Madrid have weekly and monthly quotas for ID checks and detentions of immigrants not carrying residency papers or work permits, encouraging officers to target people belonging to ethnic minorities, even if they are living legally in Spain as residents or are citizens.

“People who do not ‘look Spanish’ can be stopped by police as often as four times a day,” said Izza Leghtas, the Amnesty researcher who investigated and wrote the Spain report.

The group said African and Latin American immigrants–both legal and illegal–are most frequently targeted by officers who demand their IDs in neighborhoods with heavy immigrant populations, on public transportation and in parks.

A spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry on Wednesday said the ministry rejects the allegations and does not carry out racial profiling. {snip}


Amnesty said that under Spanish law police can check the identity of people in public places when there is a security concern. The group’s research, however, revealed that deliberate identity checks on foreigners without any security concern is widespread.


Spain underwent a wave of immigration from the 1990s to 2008 amid an extended economic boom that was cut short in 2008 by the financial crisis and a recession that lasted nearly two years. Leghtas said successive Spanish governments have used “stop and search powers abusively as a way to control migration.”


11 responses to “Spain Police Accused of Rampant Racial Profiling”

  1. Ben N Indiana says:

    52 percent of homicides in America are committed by blacks. That is, about 2.5 percent of the population (black males age 18-49) commit about half the homicides and half the violent crimes.

    I suppose the same is true in Spain.

    The Spaniards are simply acknowledging reality.

  2. Cape to Cairo says:

    If there is any country that should know about profiling, it’s the Spaniards. During the Muslim rule of their country, Christians were forced to wear arm bands, walk around without shoes, or walk in the streets to signal to others that they were the unclean infidels that they were. Compared to what this article indicates is going on in Madrid, I’d say this is the most benign profiling I can think of.

  3. olewhitelady says:

    If the law allows people to be stopped at police discretion and there is no law against racial or ethnic profiling, then the police can stop whoever they want, whenever they want. In the U.S., contrary to popular belief, cops can racially profile if they can articulate a reason for doing so. If I, as a white woman, am driving around an urban ghetto, the police will probably suspect me of being a drug buyer and will stop me. And, by law, they can. It looks to them like crime is afoot, just as it would if a black teen is lurking around an apartment building populated by elderly Jews.

  4. cpascal says:

    It sounds as though people who don’t look Spanish are engaging in suspicious-looking activities up to four times a day.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like excellent and productive police tactics to me. Most warrants are cleared not by police going to the homes.

    Most warrants are cleared by police and highway patrols stopping and checking every black and brown man walking or driving.

    Good for the Spanish police.

  6. anon. says:

    I was in Madrid for a week in the mid-nineties and saw this up front and close. Three “Triangle hats” (uniformed Civil Guards) and a plainclothes cop had cornered up this Moroccan in the doorway of a bar that we (myself and my Madrileño attorney friend) were exiting in the Plaza del Sol nightlife district. He looked like something that had just spewed out of a freshly rubbed genie bottle. They were giving him the third degree about where the heroin was and he was adamantly playing dumb.

    The cops finally lost patience with the genie and worked him over with their nightsticks until a kilo brick of brown heroin fell out of his baggy britches. My attorney friend wasn’t the least bit disturbed about what we witnessed.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Ole White Lady wrote

    “It looks to them like crime is afoot, just as it would if a black teen is lurking around an apartment building populated by elderly Jews”

    I live in a building and neighborhood populated mostly by Jews, many of them elderly. If the police questioned an officer questioning a black teen lurking around the building, they would call ADL AJC ACLU SPLC and move on to protest profiling and police brutality.

    A few Jews are reasonable, but as a group Jews will excuse any crime and atrocity by blacks, even when the Jew has been a victim of robbery, assault, rape, home invasion and car jacking by blacks. They will even excuse murder by blacks.

    Latest example is a 70 year old 5’2 tall woman in my building. She used to swim every day in the neighborhood pool. Then she was beaten up in the pool by a large strong young black man who wanted her to get out of his way.

    I helped her make the police report and wrote for her a 2 page complaint to the park department, park police, mayor and local councilman.

    I told her, now you know why we had segregation. She considers me a racist and avoids me.

    Then years ago there were my two Jewish lawyer friends, a man and a woman. They were walking the dog one night when robbed by 3 blacks. They were mauling Carol around and talking about taking her to the back yard and raping her. She only escaped when they noticed that the car keys were for a BMW. So they stole the car instead. They reported to the police that the 3 robbers were White. The neighborhood was in transition as they say from safe White to crime ridden black. The police questioned if they were positive about the race. They said they were positive the robbers were White.

    Look up Faye Stender. Jewish attorney who was shot by one of her black clients. In her mid forties she ended up severely disabled, incontinent, in a wheel chair and with her mind dysfunctional.

    She publicly forgave the black who shot her. A few years later realizing that she would live to 70 to 80, 30 more years in her condition, she committed suicide.

    I have no sympathy for people like Marion Hedges, Amy Biehl’s parents and other Whites who worship and adore blacks, hate Whites and forgive even murder by blacks.

  8. La Santa Hermandad says:

    Anonymous 7 wrote:

    “I have no sympathy for people like Marion Hedges, Amy Biehl’s parents and other Whites who worship and adore blacks, hate Whites and forgive even murder by blacks.”

    Try not to hate but to educate. If you can’t feel sympathy for misguided victims i.e. Marion Hedges, how are you any different from them? I can understand your opinion of Amy’s parents because they for all practical purposes, set her up for her horrible death by instilling that nonsense in her.

  9. John Engelman says:

    Although I am a white man I have been stopped and frisked by the police on several occasions. I was glad they were doing their job.

    Blacks are more likely to be crime victims than whites. Young black men whose feelings are hurt by being stopped and frisked should think how much worse a mugging or a bullet would hurt.

  10. Anonymous says:

    9 — John Engelman wrote at 3:41 AM on December 18:

    “Although I am a white man I have been stopped and frisked by the police on several occasions. I was glad they were doing their job.”

    Twice in my life (within days of each incident) I was stopped and frisked by police – once at gunpoint! Why? It turns out I fit the description of a perp they were searching out (I was told this the second time I was stopped). At the time I had a goatee. I went home and shaved. I was never bothered again and guess what? I’m still here! Of course, that’s because when the police yelled “Freeze” that’s EXACTLY what I did!

    I have no sympathy for the Rodney Kings of this world.

  11. Korean kid says:

    Well AmRen

    Just this year Toronto had a serial rapist of Asian ethnic background. There was a clear large photo of him in the major papers in Toronto. And I and many young East Asian guys in Toronto had to suffer hostile “keep your eyes on all East Asian men in public in Toronto” treatments for a while.

    I am a few years older than him and much taller than him….. I do not look like him at all.

    Yes it was not nice, because I do not look like a thing like him both height wise and face wise

    But I decided that it is an inevitable part of the process and decided to understand.

    All his victims have been Asian. The specified area in the news article is mostly frequented by young Asians

    I personally hope he gets caught and receives legally appropriate punishments.

    I do not get why some men commit sexual crimes. In Japan, South Korea and Canada, it is not hard at all to simply pay for sex.

    What I am thinking is, the rapists commit the crimes not because they want sexual gratifications but because they are mentally unstable or specifically want to ruin the victims’ lives