MADRID, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Spanish police are much more likely to stop ethnic minorities than others, researchers in Spain said.
In general, non-white Spanish nationals are three times more likely to be stopped by police than their white counterparts. Roma are 10 times more likely to be stopped. Blacks are 17 times more likely to be stopped by an officer, a study by Valencia University found.
TheLocal.es said the study validates what many Spanish minorities have been saying for years -- that racial profiling by police is a major issue in the country.
"As a Spanish citizen born and raised in Spain, ethnic profiling is especially damaging as I am made to feel a second-class citizen and told that I don't belong here," said Mohamed Gerehou, a Spanish citizen of Gambian descent.
In 2012, police conducted nearly 8 million stops -- roughly equal to 17.5 percent of the total population. By comparison, police in New York City conducted enough stops to equal 7.5 percent of the city in a given year, ThinkSpain said.