Equal Protection

The 14th Amendment protects you from discrimination based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. Originally introduced to challenge racial discrimation toward Black people, this amendment has since been used to ensure equality by every measure.


The 14th Amendment (Equal Protection) applies in all circumstances, including at work and in school. The police are responsible for maintaining equal protection for all people during their enforcement of the law.

The 14th Amendment (Equal Protection) is particularly useful in preventing police profiling. Police profiling is the discriminatory practice by law enforcement of targeting individuals on the basis of predetermined characteristics (like race or religion). An example of police profiling is the use of race to determine which drivers to stop for minor traffic violations. At a large scale, police profiling can result in excessive policing of minority communities.

If you believe that your rights have been violated, document as much information as you can—photos and videos can be particularly useful in a court of law. Take note of the officers’ badge and patrol car numbers, photograph any injuries, and connect with other witnesses. After you’ve collected this information, you can file a complaint with the agency in question or pursue charges.