DENVER (CBS4/AP) – Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor says the Boston Marathon bombings investigation shows how difficult and sensitive the issue of racial profiling can be.
Speaking with young students in Denver Thursday, Sotomayor noted that some people asked whether authorities had done enough to track the two suspects, both ethnic Chechens.
She says following the young men’s activities because of their background might be racial profiling, and she warns that investigators who rely too much on profiling are frequently wrong. But she says there might be some indicators in a case that shouldn’t be ignored.
Sotomayor, the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, also discussed what it was like to be the subject of racial stereotypes, calling it hurtful.
She’s in Denver for the opening of the $285 million Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Building, a new state courts building at 14th and Broadway. The building is the new home to the Colorado Supreme Court and the Colorado Court of Appeals and the associated staffs.
One hundreds students from across Colorado won the opportunity to be a part of Thursday’s event through an essay contest, and some were able to ask the justice questions including advice for their future.
Sotomayor also encouraged every student to find their passion — even if it’s not in the field of law. Her message was “take chances.”
“The hardest thing to do is to take chances where you can fail, because most of us like the security of doing things we think we can do,” Sotomayor said.
“Take a course that you don’t think you can do. Try a new activity after school because it looks like fun and you might as well try it now … when you get to college you may not have the time.”
She also gave each student a copy of her autobiography.
After meeting with students Sotomayor, along with Colorado’s Chief Supreme Court Justice joined two students for the ribbon cutting to dedicate the Ralph Carr Colorado Judicial Center.
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