'''Racial profiling''' is the use of race in
a "[[ profile]] " of a suspected criminal. Wherever police have served a mixed-race population, the race of suspects has always been used, because race (or [[skin color]]) is one of the most prominent characteristic of a person, along with sex and age.
The use of race in profiling came under fire when protest groups began to complain that police were making sweeps or traffic stops based mainly on race, and thus discriminating against innocent people. Such practices as stopping all blacks for questioning - when no particular crime was being investigated - came into question.