"It is as it is, Ma!" There is probably not a fragment of a sentence that shook me more than this. A few years ago, my then teenage son shared a revolting experience. A policeman had followed him all along on his way back home from school. At a road juncture, the policeman intercepted him and harshly asked him to lean against a fence, to put down his backpack, to lift his arms and spread his legs. After having subjected him to a full body search, he opened his bag, throwing at him: "Quite heavy this bag! What's in there?", only to look at him in a mixture of surprise, disappointment and embarrassment, mumbling a half-loud apology, when he saw my son's school books falling out of his bag.
Undoubtedly, racial profiling would be the appropriate term to utilise to describe this incident. This form of discriminatory decision-making of law enforcement agencies especially against adolescents and young men of African descent, subjected to identity checks, detailed searches and presumptions of criminal acts based on colour and ethnic origin, is well evidenced across a wide range of national contexts.