Racial profiling Essay

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Racial profiling Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1137

  • Pages: 5

Racial profiling

Imagine driving home from school to go put on your uniform to go to work. You are driving the posted speed limit, obeying all traffic laws, and you car is in perfect working condition. All of a sudden, flashing red and blue lights behind you and you’re being pulled over. The officer treats you as a suspect right off the bat, smothering you with questions concerning what you’re doing, where you’re going; yet never really telling you why you’ve been pulled over. Without any warranted reason the officer wants to search your car. After much hassle you are finally free to go, yet still have no explanation as to why you were pulled over to begin with. Well that happened to me one year ago after being pulled over three hours earlier. Later on i learned that there were a Mercedes Benz that was stolen in the neighborhood, and i was a black women driving a Mercedes Benz fitting the description of the one that were being stolen. But there were other Mercedes car in the street that day. Why didn’t he stooped them. Guess what the officer was a white man, this prove that i was subject to racial profiling. Still today many people don’t know the definition of racial profiling. What does it means? According to Kenneth Jost, author of the “racial profiling ;Are minority unfairly targeted by police” stated that Racial Profiling is any police or private security practice in which a person is treated as a suspect because of his or her race, ethnicity, nationality or religion. This occurs when police investigate, stop, frisk, search or use force against a person based on such characteristics instead of evidence of a person’s criminal behavior. It often involves the stopping and searching of people of color for traffic violations, known as “DWB” or “driving while black or brown.” Is racial profiling helps or huts community/America? In my opinion i think that racial profiling is a detriment to our society, because it is a form of discrimination, it is unconstitutional, and its violates humans right. Should there be something done to stop this growing madness?

Racial Discrimination is a serious problem in the world today. Race remains a significant social issue because people use racial differences as the basis for discrimination. Racism is a clear reality in our society, and it is continues to shatter and destroy lives. Racial discrimination is an ongoing human judgment that U.S. citizens can’t really stop. Let’s take a look at one example on how racism is a problem “New York City college student Trayon Christian, 19, filed a civil rights suit against Barneys after he was stopped, handcuffed and taken to a police station after buying a $349 belt at the upscale department store.” Why did that happen ,well because he was black. The life chances and opportunities of people of color in the United States are limited as compared to whites. The legacy of historic discrimination continues to weigh on the present; and current day discrimination persists throughout American life in access to healthcare, educational services, employment opportunities, wage levels, capital, the criminal justice system, and media employment. Racism, is difference plus power. All forms of racism suppose,on Paul Bou-Habib’s conception,author of the”Racial profiling and background injustice”say that “the differences between races mean that they cannot coexist in one society on terms of equality. This information is important because it allows us to further understand the history of racial discrimination.

In the United States Bill of Rights, the Fourth Amendment is “the right of the people to be secure in their houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized,”(qtd.in Saeed). Racial profiling is a clear violation of the bills of rights in the United States citizens. New measures must be taken in conjunction with current measures to curb racial profiling. A strict federal program to monitor and survey our nation’s police officers is needed. The public also needs to become more involved in efforts to stop racial profiling. Until these measures are taken, racial profiling will continue to eat away at the heart of our nation.

Being frisked, arrested, or incarcerated is often a humiliating and degrading process in violates human rights. Many police officers have also been known to abuse their authority. Take for instance. In 2009, police in Detroit, Michigan, conducted a stop and- frisk of Elvis Ware. While in a public parking lot, one officer shoved his bare hand down Ware’s pants and squeezed his genitals and then attempted to stick a bare finger into Ware’s anus. Other young men of African descent report that the same two officers who stopped Ware conducted similar outrageous and inappropriate searches on them without warrants, probable cause, or reasonable suspicion.’ Such “encounters can result in negative behavioral changes”(Jost). Minorities, even those who are innocent, may feel pressured to dress in a particular way to avoid drawing attention to themselves, or to stop traveling certain routes in order to avoid interacting with the police. Additionally, exposure to racial profiling may be psychological detrimental, possibly resulting in lowered self-confidence and dignity. Based on these, as well as others, it can be effectively argued that racial profiling is not, in and of itself, an unethical practice. However, it must be used in a precise manner in order to be morally sound. This method includes using it as a tool in the investigative process and not before it has been determined that a crime has been committed. It must also be used in a specific way: to describe an individual suspect and not a group of people who are suspected of possibly committing one crime or another. The witness’s background and bias must be taken into account, and racial profiling must be done equally and without favor to one racial group. After these steps are taken into account, racial profiling cannot be considered “unethical”(Saeed).

WORKS CITED
Bou-Habib, Paul. “Racial Profiling And Background Injustice.” Journal Of Ethics 15.1/2 (2011): 33-46. Academic Search Premier. Web. 1 Dec. 2013. Jost, Kenneth. “CQ Researcher.” CQ Researcher. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2013. Shabazz, Saeed. “U.S. Supreme Court says no to new hearing for Mumia Abu-Jamal.” New York Amsterdam News 09 Apr. 2009: 4. Academic Search Premier. Web. 1 Dec. 2013.

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Racial Profiling Essay

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Racial Profiling Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1244

  • Pages: 5

Racial Profiling

Introduction

What is racial profiling? The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) defines racial profiling as “the discriminatory practice by law enforcement officials of targeting individuals for suspicion of crime based on the individual’s race, ethnicity, religion or national origin” (2005). Do not confuse racial profiling with criminal profiling; criminal profiling is usually practiced by police in which they use a group of characteristics that are associated with crime to target individuals (ACLU, 2005). Examples of racial profiling include using ones race to target specific drivers for traffic violations and pedestrians for illegal contraband; another prime example is the targeting of Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians since 9/11 in regards to minor immigrant violations without any connection to the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon (ACLU, 2005). Without a doubt, racial profiling occurs on a daily basis all over the world; however let’s focus on racial profiling in the United States and specifically right here in our homeland, Michigan.

Background & History

When did racial profiling first begin? Even though racial profiling still exists today, it is not a recently new phenomenon. Racial profiling can date back to the 1700s when slavery was a common way of life for many African Americans. Like present-day racial profiling, one’s skin color is what has made them subject to discriminatory treatment from law enforcement (Rushing, K., 2013). In South Carolina, white men policed the black slaves on plantations and hunted for escaped slaves; this was referred to as “slave patrol”. Most slaves were not free, and if they were they had to carry freedom papers or a pass to prove that they had permission to be off of the plantation (Rushing, K., 2013). If a black person was found to have run away they were beaten, whipped or even killed as the consequence. Even into the 20th century, after slavery, blacks were again forced into another form of involuntary servitude called convict leasing; this is where they were leased to work for private companies, whether it be on plantations or railroads and coal mines (Rushing, K., 2013). Regardless of what the 14th amendment states in the Constitution, laws were still broken and applied differently to blacks and whites. This became a major issue when the War on Drugs began in 1982. Reagan wanted to stop drug use and sales with ruthless sentencing laws; they focused on urban black neighborhoods to promote anti-drug efforts. Although the prison population tripled there were substantial racial disparities; in 2010 the US Bureau of Justice Statistics indicated that black males had an imprisonment rate that was nearly seven times higher than white men (Rushing, K., 2013). And the rate of incarceration among black women was almost three times that of white women; a Human Rights Watch study in 2009 showed that blacks are arrested at much higher rates than whites even though they commit drug offense at comparable rates (Rushing, K., 2013). Racial profiling isn’t specifically focused on drug offenses but focuses on any form of crime being committed by any person who isn’t of white decent.

There are many notorious instances where racial profiling has occurred including bicycling while black and brown in Eastpointe, Michigan, walking while black and brown in New York City, and gang database racial profiling in Orange County, California. In Eastpointe, 21 young black youths were stopped by police because they were riding their bicycles through a white suburb. The ACLU joined the suite against Eastpointe, Michigan, to represent the youths. They argued that the “bicyclists were stopped in this predominantly white suburb of Detroit because of their race and not because they were doing anything wrong” (ACLU, 2005). In 1996 a memo sent to the Eastpointe City Manager had a statement from the former police chief that he instructed his officers to investigate any black youths riding through Eastpointe subdivisions. Through extensive searching of police logs, it was found that Eastpointe had over 100 incidents between 1995 and 1998 just like this one (ACLU, 2005). In New York City’s police department report in December 1999, the stop and frisk practices showed to be greatly based on race. In NYC, blacks make up 25.6% of the city’s population, Hispanics 23.7% and whites are 43.4% of NYC population. However, according to the report, 50.6% of all persons stopped were black, 33% were Hispanic, and only 12.9% were white. As you can see, more than half of the individuals who were stopped were black, 62.7% to be exact (ACLU, 2013). In Orange County, California Latinos, Asians and African Americans were more than 90% of the 20,221 men and women in the Gang Reporting Evaluation and Tracking System (ACLU, 2013). Clearly this database record shows racial profiling occurred when the total population in the database made up less than half of Orange County’s population. This is when the California Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the ACLU stepped in. One other instance of racial profiling I’d like to discuss occurred in Maricopa County, Arizona. A court ruled in May 2013 that “sheriff Joe Arpaio’s routine handling of people of Latino descent amounted to racial and ethnic profiling”; according to CNN, the sheriff’s office had a history of targeting vehicles with those having darker skin, examining them more strictly and taking them into custody more often than others (CNN, 2014). Judge Murray Snow ordered a monitor to oversee retraining in this office and to create a community advisory board to prevent further racial profiling; retraining and monitoring the sheriff’s office will cost the county $21,943,107 over the next year and a half (CNN, 2014). As you can see from the information above, racial profiling is still an issue in present America. In today’s policing environment especially, race relations is one of the most important issues and challenges; to the point of state legislatures contemplating bans on racial profiling, mandate data collection, require police officer training, make funds available for video cameras in police cars and other measures to help put a stop to racial profiling (Portis, E., 2001).

Issues/Problems

a. Why racial profiling is an issue
b. What problems have resulted from racial profiling
i. Death
c. What problems have occurred because of racial profiling
II. Racial Profiling & the Law
a. Past/Present laws on racial profiling in Michigan
i. House Bill 4927- Racial sensitivity training & retrain officers guilty of racial profiling, along with instructing Michigan’s attorney general’s office to investigate stop & search patterns (Police Foundation, 2005).

b. Past/Present court cases in Michigan

c. Public attention
i. Racial profiling costing Arizona $22 million – to retrain officers and monitor the retraining (CNN, 2014). III. Conclusion
a. Solutions to racial profiling
i. Retraining police departments

Sources:
American Civil Liberties Union [ACLU]. (2014). Racial Profiling: Definition. Retrieved February 21, 2014 from: https://www.aclu.org/racial-justice/racial-profiling-definition CNN US. (2014). Racial profiling costs Arizona county $22 million. Retrieved February 21, 2014 from: http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/03/us/racial-profiling-payments/ Portis, Ervin. (2005). Racial Profiling: The State of the Law. Retrieved February 20, 2014 from: http://www.ethicsinstitute.com/pdf/Racial%20Profiling%20State%20Laws.pdf Rushing, Keith. (2013). Dissecting the Long, Deep, Roots of Racial Profiling in America. Retrieved February 20, 2014 from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/keith- rushing/dissecting-racial-profiling_b_2740246.html

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Racial Profiling Essay

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Racial Profiling Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1417

  • Pages: 6

Racial Profiling

Racial profiling has been a very heated issue from past few years. Race and location are the dominant characteristics authorities look at when engaging in this type of profiling. The undeniable pattern of race-based stops by police is a dilemma that millions of African-American and Latino-American motorists regularly encounter on this country’s highways. This phenomenon has been sardonically dubbed as “being pulled over for “DWB” (Driving While Black or Brown). This play on words of DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) refers to the commonly employed police practice of using an alleged traffic violation as a pretext to stop any black or Hispanic motorist they suspect of being involved in criminal activity unrelated to driving. These officers have no legal cause for carrying out the stop besides enforcing traffic regulations. Being subjected to a DWB stop is, according to House Representative John Conyers Jr., “an experience that virtually every African-American male has been subjected to.” (American Civil Liberties Union online).

However, when someone says that there is a difference between white and black people, everyone is afraid they may offend someone, or come across as a racist. The basic fact is there are differences between races. Every race is different is some way, not white or black people. This is not to say that one race is better or should be treated better

It is saying there is a difference for example; each race has its own cultural background, which can cause language barriers. Also different races have different views on how things should be done and this can cause conflicts locally or nationally. Although some observers claim that racial profiling doesn’t exist, there is a plenty of stories and statistics that document the practice. One case where law enforcement officers were particularly bold in their declaration of intent involved U.S. Forest Service officers in California’s Mendocino National Forest last year.

In an attempt to stop marijuana growing, forest rangers were told to question all Hispanics whose cars were stopped, regardless of whether pot was actually found in their vehicles. The practice of racial profiling has been a prominent topic for the past several years. In this February address to Congress, President George W. Bush reported that he had asked Attorney General John Ashcroft “to develop specific recommendations to end racial profiling. It’s wrong, and we will end it in America.” (The Myth of Racial Profiling online.)

Minorities are not only more likely to be stopped than whites, but they are also often pressured to allow searches of their vehicles, and they are more likely to allow such searches. Once the police officer has legally stopped the vehicle, the harm of being discriminated against unfortunately does not end. Besides being subjected to unwanted delay, the officer now has the opportunity to “investigate” for evidence of criminal activity completely separate and unrelated to the traffic violation. The entire interior of the car is now exposed to the eyes of the officer, allowing him to discover and seize any objects that are potentially incriminating within his “plain view.”

If a legal arrest of the driver can be made, the arresting officer is justified to conduct a full-fledged body Search of the motorist and the entire interior of the car. However, in the majority of cases, the police officer is unable to view anything criminal in plain view or able to find a legal justification for arresting the driver based on the traffic violation. But the probing nature of the officer’s investigation does not end here. The officer does not issue a ticket or warning and allow the driver to go, but he will attempt to obtain consent from the driver to search. Although drivers are under no legal obligation to consent, many still do. Motorists simply aren’t fully aware that they can refuse. The Constitution does not require the police to inform citizens they can freely withhold consent from the officer.

However, the use of class probability in police investigations is correctly regarded with extreme suspicion, as it violates a basic principle of justice: The legal system should treat all citizens equally, until there is specific, credible evidence that they have committed a crime. In the case that was discussed, we can say that the odds that any particular young black or Hispanic man will be hassled by the police are much higher than for a white man who, aside from his race, is demographically indistinguishable from him. These minority men, no matter how law-abiding they are, know that they will be investigated by the police significantly more often than other citizens who are not members of their racial group.

It did not take long for those in law enforcement to conclude that their best pull would come from seizing goods from who lack the resources to win them back. In one highly publicized case that occurred in 1991,”federal authorities at the Nashville airport took more than $9,000 in cash from Willie Jones, a black landscaper who was flying to Houston in order to purchase shrubs. According to the police, that money could have been used to purchase drugs. After spending thousands of dollars and two years on the case, the landscaper was able to convince the courts to return most of the seized cash.”

(Jhon Cohen, 2000). Sam Thach, a Vietnamese immigrant, found himself in a similar situation last year. He was relieved of $147,000 by the DEA while traveling on Amtrak. Thach was investigated because the details of his ticket purchase, which Amtrak shared with the DEA, “fit the profile” of a drug courier. He was not charged with any crime and is now fighting to retrieve his money in federal court. (Gene Callahen Online).

Some racial profiling defenders agree that the drug war bears a large part of the blame for racial profiling. “Many of the stop-and-search cases that brought this matter into the headlines were part of the so-called war on drugs,” (Gene Callahan Online). He contends that even if drugs were legalized tomorrow, the practice would continue.

If we really wish to end the scourge of racial profiling, we must address its roots: drug laws that encourage police to consider members of broad groups as probable criminals. We must redirect law enforcement toward solving specific, known crimes using the particular evidence available to them about that crime. Whatever one’s opinion on drug legalization may be, it’s easy to agree that the state of seizure law in America is reprehensible, even given last year’s minor federal reforms. It should be obvious that there’s something nutty about a legal system that assumes suspects in murder, robbery, and rape cases are innocent until a trial proves otherwise, but assumes that a landscaper carrying some cash is guilty of drug trafficking.

Work Cited

Arrest the racism. “David A Harris”. On-Line, Dec4th, 2001

http://www.aclu.org/profiling/report/index.html

American Renaissance (1999). Nov.25 2001

Heather Mac Donald. “Myth of racial profiling”, On-Line, Dec.4th, 2001

http://www.city-journal.org/html/11_2_the_myth.html

Is Jim Crow alive and well in America today.” American Civil Liberties Union/ Freedom Network. On-Line, Dec4th, 2001.

http://www.aclu.org/profiling

Jhon D. Cohen “End of Racial Profiling” Copyright 1999

Recruits Still Low, Randy Diamond, The Bergen Record. On-Line Dec. 4th, 2001.

http://www.bergen.com/news/recruitr200008237.htm.

Roots of Racial PROFILING, “Gene Callahan and William Anderson.”

http://reason.com/0108/fe.gc.the.shtml

Supt. Williams Sues NJ for Race Bias, Wendy Ruderman, New Jersey

On-Line Dec.4th, 2001.

http://www.nj.com/news/times/stories/10-ukbbfqsb.html Fired State Police

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Racial profiling Essay

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Racial profiling Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1661

  • Pages: 7

Racial profiling

There are several controversial issues surrounding racial profiling and the various problems that are encountered as a result of it. One issue is whether or not racial profiling exists. Most law enforcement departments refuse to undergo a study and they deny that racial profiling exists. These problems, coupled with the status of literature regarding this topic at this point, are more unreliable than scientific. In addition, the topic is controversial because the United States believes that it has rid itself of prejudice and racism, and to open the topic of racial profiling by law enforcement personnel is admitting that its possible the nation is backsliding. As a result, the events of September 11th stepped up the pace of racial profiling by law enforcement and grew to include new groups of people.

Racial profiling is a topic that is seen across the nation in the media. Racial profiling has often been referred to as the apparition occurrence because so far departments across the nation clearly deny its existence. The topic is a growing one in light of the September 11, 2001 attacks on America. Racial profiling has been a top news story since that attack but it was an issue for many years before that.

The equal protection clause can be found in the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. It simply states that, “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States…nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” In other words, this meant that the Constitution would become ‘color-blind’. State laws would no longer be allowed to treat whites and blacks differently. The Supreme Court relied heavily upon the “separate but equal” doctrine to determine when a state law violated the equal protection clause.

This is also how the Supreme Court would determine what is considered to be discrimination. In order to prove that a state is guilty of discrimination there must be an overwhelming amount of evidence supporting the claim. This was evident in the case of Washington vs. Davis, where the Court ruled against two blacks who claimed that the hiring practices of the D.C. Police Department were discriminatory towards racial minorities. The Supreme Court said that the hiring practices did not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

Equal Protection is described as “the right of all persons to have the same access to the law and courts and to be treated equally by the law and courts, both in procedures and in the substance of the law”. It is similar to the right to due process of law, but in particular applies to equal treatment as an aspect of fundamental fairness. The most famous case on this subject is Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) in which Chief Justice Earl Warren, for a undivided Supreme Court, ruled that “separate but equal” educational facilities for blacks were essentially unequal and unconstitutional since the segregated school system did not give all students equal rights under the law. It will also apply to other inequalities such as difference in pay for the same work or unequal taxation. The principle is stated in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution: “No State shall…deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

One of the hardest things to argue in this intense topic is whether or not it exists. There is not a law enforcement agency in the nation that has stepped up to the plate and acknowledged that it does indeed profile using racial criteria. It is something that New York City’s Law Enforcement Department has been accused of over and over again, while the chiefs and mayors unwaveringly deny the rumors. It is something that the media use entire segments trying to prove with the cases that are claimed to have happened because of it (Colb, 2000). Numerous studies over the past few years have proven what many have known for decades: law enforcement agents at all levels consistently use race, ethnicity, national origin, and religion when choosing which individuals should be stopped and searched. Discriminatory racial profiling is a widely recognized problem in communities across the country.

States are beginning to recognize the need to address this discriminatory practice. The practice of racial profiling occurs when law enforcement officers target suspects on the basis of race, national origin, ethnicity, or religion. Racial profiling is not just an issue of who gets stopped, but why they are stopped, and how they are treated. In 1999, the federal government and New Jersey came to an exceptional agreement that state troopers would no longer use race as a factor in highway traffic stops. This agreement came about after an investigation of police records revealed that African Americans and Latinos drove three-fourths of the cars searched on state highways.

One might wonder how police balance their enforcement knowledge against the potential for discrimination based on stereotyping, or what’s commonly called “racial profiling”? It’s a complex, provoking issue, but by starting to look at police training may help to figure out the source. For law-enforcement personnel, training and experience are critical. Training comes from many sources. It begins with the initial training academy, and continues with ongoing updates known as in-service training.

Additional formal training happens when a field-training officer (a police officer’s first street partner) assists with law enforcement’s version of “on-the-job training.” Somewhere along the progression, “informal” training begins. It takes place anywhere and everywhere, and continues throughout a career. And just like in any job, officers learn to cut corners, streamline processes and get the job done. The end result can be a more efficient employee or one who omits necessary steps in the processes.

On one front, police brutality occurs when an officer has difficulty judging the need to utilize force. An officer’s career depends on police-survival skills that can make the difference for continued existence. Knowing when to go for your gun or when to issue a verbal command is a learned skill. It requires good training, time on the job, and repeated exposure to incidents. Equally, a crucial part of this is the guidance and influence of senior officers, not to mention the officer’s own motivations of fear, physical abilities and the like.

There are many factors that influence an officer’s decisions when it comes to discriminatory issues and law enforcement. The manor, in which an officer is socially experienced, in both professional and personal settings, plays a major role. Bringing about the stereotype of young African-American men as criminals can come from both of these tracts. Like everyone else, police must unlearn this bias and judge people based on their actions alone. The big difference is that police, at times, have power over our freedom. Racial profiling of African-Americans and Latinos is rampant at all levels of law enforcement today. For example, approximately 72 percent of all routine traffic stops on an interstate in the Northeast were of African-American drivers, despite the fact that African-Americans make up only about 17 percent of the driving population, according to a study by the American Civil Liberties Union.

In the aftermath of September 11, racial profiling of Arabs and South Asians has increased very much so. Since the terrorist attacks, individuals who appear to be of Arab or South Asian descent have been targeted for special inquiry. For example, many have been asked to leave airplanes for no reason other than their appearance. In the case of Arab look a likes on airplanes, many have been asked to remove their turbans, a violation of their religious practices.

Few state or federal agencies collect data on the incidence of racial profiling. The U.S. Department of Justice only recently issued voluntary guidelines that states should follow, producing in 2000, A Resource Guide on Racial Profiling Data Collection Systems.

This document provides an overview of the nature of racial profiling, a description of data collection and its purpose, current activities in California, New Jersey, and North Carolina, and policy recommendations. Collecting accurate data is a critical first step toward eliminating the practice of racial profiling and bridging the lack of trust between law enforcement agencies and communities of color.

Developing and implementing data collection systems will help to eliminate intentional and unintentional profiling and restore trust in law enforcement agencies. States that require law enforcement officials to collect information regarding the race, ethnicity, gender and age of each driver stopped by police will also help. The reporting requirements also include noting what actions (citation, warnings, tickets) were taken, and, if a vehicle search was conducted, whether it was based upon consent, probable cause, or reasonable suspicion of a crime.

The potential for abuse of power in most law enforcement departments exists for several reasons. Incorporated with the lack of literature regarding the topic at this point, most law enforcement departs refuse to undergo a study and they deny that racial profiling exists, the controversial issues in regards to prejudice and racism, and the added events of September 11th; racial profiling by law enforcement grew to include new groups of people. However, many police departments are aggressively addressing these issues with added training and stiffer sanctions for violating a citizen’s civil rights. Through the years, the learned patterns of criminality, real or perceived, have given us the institution of profiling. The unlearning of these patterns may take just as long.

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Racial Profiling Essay

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Racial Profiling Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1803

  • Pages: 7

Racial Profiling

On February 4, 1999, Amadou Diallo, an unarmed 22 year-old immigrant from New Guinea, West Africa, was shot and killed in the narrow vestibule of the apartment building where he lived. Four white officers, Sean Carroll, Kenneth Boss, Edward McMellon and Richard Murphy fired 41 bullets, hitting Diallo 19 times. All four were members of the New York City Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit, which, under the slogan, “We Own the Night,” used aggressive “stop and frisk” tactics against African- Americans at a rate double that group’s population percentage.

A report on the unit by the state attorney general found that blacks were stopped at a rate 10 times that of whites, and that 35 percent of those stops lacked reasonable suspicion to detain or had reports insufficiently filled out to make a determination. Thousands attended Diallo’s funeral. Demonstrations were held almost daily, along with the arrests of over 1,200 people in planned civil disobedience. In a trial that was moved out of the community where Diallo lived and to Albany in upstate New York, the four officers who killed Diallo were acquitted of all charges (“The Diallo” online).

Racial Profiling is any police or private security practice in which a person is treated as a suspect because of his or her race, ethnicity, nationality or religion. This occurs when police investigate, stop, frisk, search or use force against a person based on such characteristics instead of evidence of a person’s criminal behavior. It often involves the stopping and searching of people of color for traffic violations, known as “DWB” or “driving while black or brown. ” (Meeks 17). After 9/11, racial profiling has become widely accepted as an appropriate form of crime prevention.

People were sought after based solely on the fact that they were of Arab descent. But racial profiling did not start with September 11th – racial profiling has been around for ages. Tracy Maclin, a professor at Boston University School of Law, says that racial profiling “can trace its historical roots [back] to a time in early American society when court officials in cities like Philadelphia permitted constables and ordinary citizens the right to ‘take up’ all black persons seen ‘gadding abroad’ without their master’s permission. ” (Meeks 164).

The term “profiling” first became associated with law enforcement’s nterference in drug trafficking during the late 1970s. In 1985, the Drug Enforcement Administration instituted Operation Pipeline, an intelligence-based assessment of the method by which drug networks transported bulk drugs to drug markets, and began training local and state police in applying a drug courier profile as part of highway drug interdiction techniques. Under Operation Pipeline, police were trained to apply a profile that included evidence of concealment in the vehicle, indications of fast, point-to-point driving, as well as the age and race characteristics of the probable drivers.

In some cases, the profiling technique was distorted, so that officers began targeting black and Hispanic male drivers by stopping them for technical traffic violations as a pretext for determining whether or not drivers were carrying drugs (Weitzer 133). A 1998 Department of Justice investigation of these practices raised awareness of this issue and defined racial profiling as the practice of singling out members of racial or ethnic groups for relatively minor traffic or petty criminal offenses in order to question and/or search them for drugs, guns, or other contraband (“History” 1).

In 1999, the American Civil Liberties Union launched a nationwide campaign against racial profiling, entitled “Arrest the Racism: Racial Profiling in America. ” This campaign included research, phone hotlines to report incidents, online complaint forms, advertising campaigns that included radio, television, print and billboards, advocacy for legislation, and a communications program synchronized with litigation efforts across the country. This campaign has inspired a movement against racial profiling by local, state and national organizations.

Community organizations have been involved in advocating for legislation, increasing visibility of their racial profiling concerns, and encouraging police departments to begin data collection. More than 20 states have passed legislation prohibiting racial profiling and/or mandating data collection on stops and searches, hundreds of individual jurisdictions have voluntarily begun to collect data, and several jurisdictions are collecting data on racial profiling as a result of federal or state court settlements or consent decrees.

In February 2001, during an address to a joint session of Congress, President George W. Bush said of racial profiling, “It is wrong and we will end it in America. ” (“History” 1) California, alone, has enacted legislation which mandates sensitivity training, but there is currently no legislation mandating data collection. In 1999, Governor Gray Davis vetoed legislation that would have required law enforcement agencies to collect data to show whether people of color are stopped by police at disproportionate rates. Bills that would have prohibited racial profiling and required data collection either died on inactive file or had important content removed before being passed.

A large number of individual jurisdictions are collecting data either voluntarily, through court settlements, or through federal consent decrees. S. B. 205, which amended the California Penal Code section 13519. 4, entitled Racial and Cultural Diversity Training, defines racial profiling as “the practice of detaining a suspect based on a broad set of criteria which casts suspicion on an entire class of people without any individualized suspicion of the particular person being stopped. ” This legislation outlines the inappropriateness of racial profiling, and mandates cultural awareness training for civil servants.

The federal code which is used to address racial profiling and other questionable procedures is Title 42, U. S. C. , Section 14141, which makes it unlawful for state or local law enforcement agencies to allow officers to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives persons of rights protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. This law is commonly referred to as the Police Misconduct Statute. This law gives the Department of Justice the right to reprimand and/or sanction law enforcement agencies that use policies or practices which support a pattern of misconduct by officers.

The action taken by the department is directed against the agency as a whole, not against individual officers. Although efforts have been made to ban the use of racial profiling as a law enforcement tool, no jurisdiction in the U. S. has addressed the problem in a way that is both effective and all-inclusive. Currently, twenty-nine states have passed laws concerning racial profiling, but state and federal protections against this problem continue to be extremely lacking.

Further, some states are even passing legislation that supports racial profiling, such as Arizona’s new SB 1070, which aims to curb the problem of illegal entry into the U. S. While immigration issues continue to be a problem in the U. S. , this law basically allows law enforcement officials to stop any citizen randomly to verify their legal residence in the country. Police practices that are viewed as racially motivated will ultimately lead to more frequent and severe interactions with law enforcement, and eventually leads to a distrust of the police. This is an unhealthy position, as law enforcement practices aren’t effective when you are fearful of those whose job is to protect and serve the citizens (Blumer 4).

There is not much research available that addresses the question of why racial differences exist in citizens’ relations with the police. Part of the explanation can be found in the group-position thesis, which is discussed in the research by Bob Hutchings 64), and states: “the group-position thesis focuses on inter-group competition over material rewards, status, and power. Racial attitudes which reflect individual-level feelings and beliefs also mirror a collective sense of group cohesion, unlike other racial groups.

These perceptions include (1) perceived threats: dominant group members’ fears that their group is at risk of losing privileges or resources to competing racial groups, and (2) perceived advantages: minority group members’ beliefs that their group interests will be enhanced by challenging the prevailing racial order. The group-position thesis has been used to explain inter-group racial attitudes. ” The thesis further outlines the entitlement of dominant groups to resources, and the attraction to institutions that serve their interests; an example of this would be the attraction of the White race to the criminal justice system.

The police are often seen as allies by the “dominant ethnic group”, especially in deeply divided societies where the police can be used as an instrument for suppressing “subordinate groups” (Bobo &ump; Hutchings 70). This relationship between the police and dominant groups is less obvious in more democratic societies, but the authors state that even in these societies, the superior group builds strong relations with the police. In the United States, white people’s support for the police has traditionally been strong and, at the same time, whites tend to see racial minorities as inclined to criminal or violent behavior. In the 2000 General Social Survey, for example, half of whites viewed blacks as ‘violence-prone’. ”(Weitzer &ump; Tuch 1021) For whites who follow these views, there is a tendency to condone police suspicion and disparate treatment of minorities as “rational discrimination” (Weitzer 153). These attitudes may be more strongly held by some whites than by others, but the group-position thesis predicts that these views are fairly common throughout the white population (Bobo &ump; Hutchings 72).

Racial profiling has been occurring throughout our nation, and even the world, for as far back as any of us can remember. Racial profiling stems from racism, and fear of people who are different, ethnically and culturally, than the person making the judgments. Sadly, it spreads even further than that, and clouds the judgment of the people who are in positions of authority, even when they come from the same ethnic background.

Racism, classism, sexism and all the other –isms combine to create trends such as these, which affect more than just the person being judged; it affects their families, friends, neighborhoods, communities, etc. Like all other issues that deal with the problem of –isms, the only way to change the dominant perception is to change the way people are programmed throughout life and their experiences. Until that day, no legislation or rule is going to change the way people feel about the minority, or perceived lower class, group.

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Racial Profiling Essay

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Racial Profiling Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1767

  • Pages: 7

Racial Profiling

Racial profiling is a big issue. Many people have been victimized because of cops and other high authorities’ senseless attitudes on how to handle the law. What people have to realize is that racial profiling does happen to innocent people who are mostly targeted or pursued because of their race or sometimes even because of their religion. These things can also cause citizens to become very angry and unwilling to cooperate with law enforcement. Racial profiling has been the cause of many outbreaks of riots.

There has even been many riots because of innocent people being racial profiled against; causing citizens to become antagonistic, bitter, and hateful towards the law. This can be a problem because they even target good police. The cause of racial profiling can start not only hostile attitudes, but a shift in the views of how police treat citizens. Racial profiling is a method that police and other law enforcement agents use to catch someone who has committed a crime or is about to commit one. It is a controversial method. In fact, even the meaning of racial profiling is controversial” (Kops, Pg. 9).

Racial profiling is a very controversial topic, because this topic makes people uneasy to talk about. It’s especially hard for victims who have been racial profiled against because of the memory of their terrible experience. “In 1942, over 120,000 American were stripped of their business and their homes and incarcerated for the duration of World War II. They had committed no offense. They were convicted of no crime. They were suspected, subjected to curfews, arrested, had their property confiscated, and finally imprisoned because of the color of their skin and their national origin or the national origin of their parents” (Meeks, Pg. ).

Situations like this can cause a shift in the government where they have constant issues on how to approach citizens because of the fear of being accused of discriminating against people. This sometimes has citizens wondering is it okay for police to check you if they “think” you are committing a crime? Well there have been mixed answers when the law is confronted with this question. Also this can cause tension between cops and the law enforcement because of all the animosity and stress of being constantly accused of racial profiling. There have been retired cops who have written books talking about their experience as a cop.

Some give details that outsiders wouldn’t know about the cop’s secret jobs. Is it possible that good police are afraid? This could be the reason why; they could also be afraid that if they tell too much they could possibly lose their job. But just as there are good cops, there are also bad cops. Like the ones who harass people for no reason; simply because of the physical features. “An officer’s daily duties require them to violate the rights of others, without question, on a repeated basis (see video – 2min in). Police routinely fine or jail, at taxpayer expense, people whose crimes lack an actual victim.

Whether it is for driving without a license, disorderly conduct or illegal drugs, police are the ones enforcing such laws. More surprisingly is it seems they do so only because they are told to, and believe such violations are acceptable to keep others safe (this doesn’t even include officers who blatantly and knowingly abuse their power)” (Freeman). Is it a thing of giving law enforcement too much power? Many people have many complaints that the law has access to how they suspect if the person is in the wrong. This is a prime example of why there can be a separation between cops.

However, often many good cops are targeted for a crooked cop’s bad deed. With this happening it scares away potential cops; who are afraid of this horrible thing happening to them, which has citizens and other authorities on edge. The lack of law enforcement would be a huge problem; without the law the crime rate could possibly reach an ultimate high. Law enforcement is supposed to be put in place as a security, and protection for citizens. But how can you trust them when they also commit crimes. It makes it even harder for citizens to report a crime because they are afraid of what might happen to them.

Bad cops are considering somewhat professionals at pulling big schemes. They can pull off these schemes because of the connections they have with even high authorities. Some schemes could be tied to drug trafficking and many other things. But are once they are accused of such heinous crime, why are these issues sometimes forgotten about? It’s like the process of prosecuting these police are constantly kept quiet. Well it’s about time that it’s brought public. “Negative stereotypical biases of African-American males overshadow any appearances that they are law-abiding citizens.

Indeed, in the eyes of many law enforcement officers, an African-American male driving a Mercedes-Benz projects the presumption of illegal activity, not the presumption of a hard working citizen” (Weatherspoon). Keeping these things private can cause more attention to what are they really doing. But no one is taking a stand and asking questions; simply because of fear of becoming a target of the police. “The term driving while black has been used to describe the practice of law enforcement officials to stop African-American drivers without probable cause.

The practice particularly targets African-American males. African-American males are not only singled out while driving, but also while schooling, eating, running for political office, walking, banking, serving as a juror, getting a taxi, shopping, and just being black and a male. The mere fact of being black and male in America is sufficient cause for governmental and private law enforcement officials to abridge the rights of African-American males. This is not to suggest that law enforcement officers can never consider race when performing their job” (Weatherspoon).

African American males are not the only people who are targeted. For example, during the Holocaust Jews were killed, beaten, starved, and a lot of other horrific things all because of their religion and race. “The European Holocaust of the 1930s and 1940s, which cost millions of Jews (and other ethnic groups) their lives, led many Jews and non- Jews alike throughout the world to believe that a Jewish homeland was necessary. During and after World War II, many Jewish refugees found themselves without a nation and with nowhere to go” (Jones, Johnstone, Pg. 358). Racial profiling seems to never have an end.

Many cases you hear about how racial profiling still exists ‘til this very day. The question that everyone should be asking is, “why should a person race, religion, or beliefs determine how they are judged? “Racial profiling is an abusive practice that targets innocent citizens solely because of the way that they look. It is not an effective law enforcement strategy. Research shows that racial profiling diverts officers’ attention from using actual, objective signs of suspicious behavior to effectively assess situations. Racial profiling erodes trust between law enforcement and its community.

As a result, people are less likely to report a crime or work with the police to give information that could apprehend an actual criminal” (Elliot). This statement is true; racial profiling really is not a strategic method. Since this method has been put in place it has done nothing but cause an upset to the community. Communities have had negative feelings towards racial profiling. So why is this still a method? No one seems to ask this important question that could change the law enforcement system. Changing the system could make a better relationship between citizens and law enforcement.

Because more citizens may be willing to open up more to the law, without feeling like they can’t trust police. Before this solution could be an option the law enforcement should make an extra effort with making sure that the community knows that they can trust they are truly secured. “While there have been attempts to end racial profiling in Congress, no bill has successfully been passed. Communities across the country have been subjected to this useless, degrading tactic for too long. Now is the time for Congress to reintroduce and pass comprehensive legislature to end racial profiling” (Elliot).

Congress has yet to make any decisions about eliminating racial profiling. But that doesn’t mean that change won’t happen. Racial profiling as stated in within this research paper is a very controversial topic, but it also a sad topic. The way a person can be mistreated just because of the color of their skin. When reading the facts about racial profiling it is saddening to know that a person can be humiliated and tortured over nothing. Victims of racial profiling are caught off guard, because they have no clue of why they have become a target.

Some people are targeted because of their religion; for example a Muslim lady could become a target of racial profiling because of her head wrapped. Muslims have became targets ever since the 9/11 incident. “Since September 11, 2001, members of Arab, Muslim, and South Asian communities have increasingly been searched, interrogated and detained in the name of “national security”, often times labeled “terrorism suspects” when in reality many were only charged with misdemeanors or minor immigration violations, if they were charged at all” (Racial Profiling: Face the Truth Campaign).

African-American males are also targeted, because of how they present themselves. This can make some African- American males uneasy to go out in public, because of the fear of being watched and seen for the clothes they wear. “As a result, community members become less likely to assist with criminal investigations or seek protection from police when they themselves are victimized, which makes everyone less safe” (Racial Profiling: Face the Truth Campaign). Communities are now starting to stick together, by not helping the police. Some feel that they should not help the police when the police attack innocent people.

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Racial Profiling Essay

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Racial Profiling Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 683

  • Pages: 3

Racial Profiling

A person should not be judged due to their appearance. Today skin color makes you a suspect in America. It makes you more likely to be stopped, more likely to be searched, and more likely to be arrested and imprisoned. When police officers stop or charge a person based on their race; that’s racial profiling. Racial profiling has been occurring around the nation for years. Statistics show that if a Caucasian man and an African American man are both driving a nice car and speeding at the same time; the police officer is most likely to stop the African-American man. Not only is racial profiling wrong, but is disrespectful to minorities, and should be illegal throughout America. Racial profiling should be illegal because it causes discomfort and humiliation to many minority citizens, lack of unity in the American people, and the possibility of real criminals getting away because he is not a minority thus becoming a threat to society.

Racial profiling causes a huge discomfort and humiliation to many minority citizens. New Jersey officials admitted to racial profiling on April 20, 1999. The report showed that racial profiling practices in New Jersey are not just an insight. The report recognized the targeting of African American and Latino drivers to troopers who abused their positions by ignoring the rights of minorities. Police officers don’t understand how degrading and humiliating this can be. Yes racial profiling can be used by countries to fight crimes thus giving security to its citizens, but it also causes a discomfort to minorities.

Additionally, the more police continue to arrest citizens based on their race, cultural background, and religion the more we lack unity in America. When police officers offend minorities by racial profiling, it makes the country divide even more. You would think that after the civil rights movement people would become as one; however, racial profiling only makes it worse. How can we unite as a country if we can not look past the surface? Racial profiling is a great divider among the people in America; if America can not look past its differences this problem will worsen, and then America, the land of the great, will fall. Don’t ask what the police can do to make the situation better-but what can we do to help the police make the situation better!

The Possibility of real criminals getting away is becoming a threat to society because police are overlooking the fact that he or she is not a minority. If a detective is given a description that does not include the ethnicity of the suspect, they automatically search for a suspect that has the ethical background of the African American, or Hispanic decent. This happens because African-Americans and Hispanics are known for causing the most crimes, which is why we need to stop the racial profiling. With that being said, this inevitably disregards all the possible suspects who are not of the minority decent. Even though racial profiling is used by police to narrow down their search for the possible suspects, minority citizens become more intensified with the fact that they are the ones being targeted and accused for such crimes that they did not commit.

To conclude, racial profiling is a conflict all around America. We as citizens in America need to our best to stop racial profiling; I reiterate we need to try our best to stop racial profiling! I heard this quote once “United we stand, but divided we fall.” This quote should urge you to want to put an end to racial profiling. Racial profiling is something that may never stop in America. It is wrong and unjust. Still, it is something worth fighting for, for the many who suffer because of the problem and for this country in general. Everyone has different opinions on Racial Profiling, some people say there are benefits or others have negative impacts on racial profiling.

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Racial Profiling Essay

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Racial Profiling Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 813

  • Pages: 3

Racial Profiling

Racial profiling is one of the most accurate problems going on in modern society. Racial profiling is caused when there are arrests, frisks, or others based only by the race of the suspect instead of any suspicion of their behavior. Quite a few police officers and people in power feel that racial profiling is a smart choice and continue to do so. Having safety and knowing police officers are arresting criminals is a great thing. However, police officers are only targeting people with dark skin the most. Dan White argues that since Blacks and Hispanics are the two top races shown in arrest statistics and targeting them is a smart business move. Whites assertion that racial profiling is a smart thing to do is unacceptable because some Hispanics and Blacks are being frisked and arrested when they are innocent people, they get judged by their skin color, and police have no right to keep a better watch on these two races than any other race.

Racial profiling is wrong because Hispanics and Blacks are getting frisked and arrested when some are innocent and didn’t do anything wrong. According to Ayres, “…They were 42.3% less likely to be found with a weapon after they were frisked” (1). African Americans who have been frisked are less likely to have a weapon. Police officers are doing a poor job by only targeting Blacks because of their skin color. Therefore, police officers are proving that they only frisking innocent people because they have darker skin. Police officers are pulling over Hispanics and Blacks because they are judging them by their skin color. Bob Herbert stated, “No people of color are safe from this treatment anywhere, regardless of their obedience to the law, their age, they type of care they drive, or their situation in life” (2). People who are dark skinned have no way out of suspicion to police officers no matter if they look wealthy, young, or old.

Police would atomically think a Black or Hispanic person will intend to commit a crime instead of a Caucasian person. It’s a shame how this goes on because it’s not right that they have to be judged to be the bad person because they are darker. Racial profiling is violating human rights. Everyone has their basic rights and need to be treated equal, but officers who are racist don’t let that happen. John Kifner mentioned, “It is so commonplace for Black men to be pulled over in their vehicles that this practice has acquired its own acronym: D.W.B. (Driving While Black)” (2). Black people get pulled over constantly it has its own descriptor as D.W.B. This is ridiculous how it has its own word form. Skin color has become evidence ability to commit crime. Police use this “evidence” against minority drivers on the road all the time.

Police should not be allowed to only keep a good eye out on Hispanics and Blacks. Ayres asserted, “Stopped Blacks are 76% more likely to be searched, and stopped Latinos are 32% more likely to be searched than stopped whites” (1). African Americans and Latinos are more likely to be searched than white people. Officers are only looking for these two ethnic groups because to them they are officially the “bad guys”. In their eyes they are the criminals and are asking for trouble. As a result, people with power have proven that they want racial profiling to continue happening.

Racial profiling should be unsupportable because these two ethnic groups get frisked and arrested when they are above suspicion, they are getting judged by their skin color, and police shouldn’t only watch them more carefully than any other race. It’s not right for a Black or Hispanic person to get blamed in a serious situation of something they might not been involved with in the first place. Everyone should be treated the same, no one has the right to think lower of a person because they have darker skin.

Race and location are the foremost characteristic authorities look at when they are engaging this type of profiling. Police officers need to do their job appropriately and lookout for the people that are actually committing a crime or disobeying a law. Racial profiling has been going on for such a long time and it will always be wrong. People with power could deny the reality of racial profiling but they know that they are being racist and keep on doing it. They could be missing out on genuinely catching a criminal from another race because sadly they have their attention on a Hispanic or Black people.

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