Racial profiling is the tactic of stopping someone because of the color of his or her skin and fleeting suspicion that the person is engaging in criminal behavior. This practice can be conducted with routine traffic stops, or can be completely random based on the car that is driven, or the number of people in the car and the race of the driver and the passengers. Racial profiling has been a part of the criminal justice system for a long time now, and is nothing new. The only reason why you hear a lot more about this topic is because the use of media has brought this very controversial topic to the public’s attention a lot more than in the past. The question that remains unanswered is, is racial profiling good or bad, and does it really have an effect on the way police fight crime effectively
Racial profiling has been one of many civil rights issues concerning the unnecessary stopping and arresting of people based on race, color, ethnicity and gender. Skin-color has become evidence of the propensity to commit crime, and police use this evidence against minority drivers on the road all the time. This practice is so common that the minority community has given it the derisive term, Driving While Black or Brown a play on the real offense of driving while intoxicated. Although many law enforcement officers defend themselves by saying they are fighting against the War on Drugs by arresting these law offenders, recent trials and reports show that no basis of arrest have been found against these minorities. Official skin color prejudice is still reflected throughout the criminal justice system. Today, skin-color makes you a suspect in America. It makes you more likely to be stopped by a law enforcement officer, more likely to be searched, and more likely to be arrested and imprisoned.
Racial profiling can be broken down into two meanings, hard profiling and soft profiling. A case of hard profiling would be when an officer sees a black person and without more to go on, pulls him over for a pat-down on the chance that he may be carrying drugs or weapons. Soft profiling would a case like when the state police get a tip off that a certain nationality is trafficking drugs down a certain highway and like to drive a certain type of vehicle, and from this intelligence the trooper pulls over a person matching this stereotype in a hope to find drugs.
The racial profiling debate focuses primarily on highway stops. The police are pulling over a disproportionate number of minority drivers for traffic offenses in order to look for drugs. The driver may have been speeding, but the reason why he pulled over that car, and not the car next to him, might have to do with the color of his skin. Highway stops should almost always be color blind, unless the officer has clues to go on to make the stop. The DEA taught state troopers come common identifying signs of drugs carriers.
Black had put his thought in and commented in a decision Griffin v. Illinois. “There can be no equal justice where the kind of trial a man get depends on the amount of money he has.” (Olson, 2005). The re are three major issues that society have today involving the criminal justice system. One of the first major issues is race. Race such a major issue because of family influences, cultural influences, and because some people are just ignorant.
In the mid-1800s, there were more African Americans in prison than any other race. Slavery was the belief of the foundation that blacks were unequal than everybody else. Slavery destroyed a lot of human beings mental, physical and spiritual health. When slavery ended, it left
a lot of remains of racism. It had an effect on the generations. The civil right movement is a movement in the United States beginning in the 1960’s and led by blacks in an effort to establish the civil rights of individual Black Citizens. This movement was very important to us blacks in America. Currently, men have become the spotlight for the prison system. Men are now labeled as a “growing under cast” meaning they have low values. Mean are sometimes denied the right to vote, discriminated from having a job, and public benefits”, during the Jim Crow period. (Alexander, 2010).
In the past 30 years crime rates do not explain the unexpected dramatic of Incarceration. The relationship between police officers and ethnicity Community’s citizen’s racial groups by different groups and how they interact. Racial profiling is a major part in comprehending racial abuse. Such as suspiciously picking out a black driver not doing anything but, the police think the driver is suspicious so he/she gets pulled over. Another factor was people have the tendency to treats blacks unequal. All people such be treated the same no matter what the differences are. The last major factor is because of black men go to jail, that really affect the household. It’s not the same if the head of the household is gone and getting misstreated. In today’s world, it seems that skin color makes you a suspect. It makes you more likely to be searched and more likely to be arrested. “Tens of thousands of motorists on highways across the country are victims of racial profiling” (Dawson online). Fighting crime is surely a high priority but it must it must be done without damaging other important values. Such values as the freedom to go about our business without unwarranted police interference and the right to be treated equally before law without regard to race and ethnicity. Unless we address this problem all of us, not just people of color, stand to lose.
Racial profiling deals not only with potential criminal recognition, same way it involves the law enforcers. Various researches held demonstrate the salience of minority status in understanding racial and ethnic differences in perceptions of the police (Ryberg, 2011). Blacks and Latinos have less trust and confidence from citizens, than do Whites and other racial minorities. Racial identity of a police officer is especially important for people who suffered from racial injustice themselves. It influences citizens’ perception of police behavior and evaluations of police encounters. This finding is important as it provides some evidence that increasing the number of minority officers may be one viable option for improving citizen officer relations. Eliminating racial profiling in law enforcement is a crucial task for the government of each country. In the U.S., for example, the federal justice department plays the key role in confronting racial profiling, as well as in its creating. The election of President Barack Obama had considerable positive consequences for racially biased policing of the country. In my opinion, eliminating racial profiling is impossible without the aggressive enforcement of civil rights laws, which will encourage local police chiefs and employers to monitor and address discrimination inside their organizations.
Racial profiling is both ineffective and wrong. Racial profiling’s adverse effects outweigh its alleged benefits in all areas where law enforcement or intelligence interact with society, including criminal, immigration and national security contexts and racial profiling undermines fundamental Canadian values. The perception that crime is rampant in today’s society or national security is under attack does not justify ineffective and irrational tactics by law enforcement and security agencies which disregard human rights, violate the Charter and erode civil liberties.
Communities that are subjected to racial profiling are unfairly over-policed, unjustly scrutinized and disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system.2 Racial profiling is the product of stereotyping of racialized communities and it fuels further stereotyping.3 We pause here to not that the term racialized communities is used rather than terms such as visible minorities, persons of colour or non-white persons. References to the term racialized communities conveys that it is a social construct to view persons or groups who share or are perceived to share a given ancestry as different and unequal in ways that matter to economic, political and social life, and that this view is not based in reality.Victims of racial profiling have their liberty interests taken from them.
They are stopped, searched, arrested, subjected to unwarranted force, detained in custody4 and in the most extreme cases, shot, tortured or killed as a result of being ill-perceived as a serious threat. Even though the adverse effects of racial profiling on individuals and communities have been documented and widely discussed, some proponents of racial profiling nonetheless contend that the price is worth it. Proponents of racial and ethnic profiling often validate profiling on the basis of utilitarian logic which holds that crimes are committed disproportionately by certain racial groups and that therefore disproportionate targeting and suspicion of members of those groups is appropriate. It is within this context that some individuals would support racial profiling.
Racial Profiling, it is argued, prevents terrorist attacks and activities. While the substitution argument focuses on the inadequacy of profiling because of its impact on the behaviour of the profiled terrorist, the stereotyping and discrimination argument focuses on the inadequacy of racial profiling because of its influence on the decision-maker him or herself. Race does not operate as a neutral factor in decision making. When race and religion form part of the assessment, they eventually overtake other characteristics as part of the purported risk assessment. Instead of remaining one factor among a multitude of factors, race or religion becomes the lens through which all other information is filtered and understood.
This is because we often unconsciously make decisions and assumptions about people on the basis of their race. Where the race or religion is associated with stereotypes, the information we assess about an individual is thus filtered through a lens tainted by stereotype. To conclude this paper I propose some of the policies which can be adopted to curb the problem on some of racial profiling effect on law enforcement agencies. The law enforcement agencies to address the issue of racial profiling need to collect the data on drivers of all races at the stops, as well as those characters which are related to the stop.
The collection of the data is very important in the identification of the problem and giving the way forward towards the elimination of the profiling problem for both as a practice of the institutionalized policy department and the officers. Data collection for this case should not be indented for the study and should not be perceived as something that hinders the implementation racial profiling solutions. The data collection should be viewed as part of providing solution to the problem. The data categories will be necessary be included into the date for efficient analysis. It is from such categories where it will be concluded that not all people of a given color commits criminal offences. The ongoing data collection acts as a monitoring tool towards the protection of the civil rights and also ensures that the law enforcement agencies achieve their goal and objectives. The law enforcement agencies should indentify and address problems in an effective way to stop racial profiling.
Ways of controlling racial profiling in law enforcement can be expressed in various organizational initiatives: educating officials concerning the effects of racial profiling usage; holding special trainings with practical issues discussions and reproduction of the most problematic situations; monitoring data on racial profiling decisions and actions that deal with the problem. In addition, legislation together with media coverage is what can really reduce racial disparities while searches and stops. The quality of policing could be improved by external political and social pressure. The appropriate level of publicity, as well as the required internal reforms, may be the key to ensure that law enforcement practices are scrutinized and that the social and political pressure for change is escalated.
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