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US likely to widen ban on profiling of criminal suspects

Published on Jan 17, 2014 2:26 AM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The US Justice Department is likely to widen a ban on the profiling of suspects by race to include other categories such as religion, country of origin, gender and sexual orientation, a person familiar with an internal review said on Thursday.

Broadening the ban would mark a major policy shift for US law enforcement and would address a frequent complaint by minorities in America who feel they are singled out for unwarranted extra scrutiny.

The department's review of racial profiling continued and it was not certain when a final decision would be made, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Federal agents have been prohibited from profiling potential criminal suspects by race in almost all cases since 2003, but complaints persist of the unwarranted targeting of religious or other groups, including Muslims and Sikhs.

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