Bias and Hate Crimes

1488 WordsAug 20, 20086 Pages
Given that our society has such a dense population of different races, ethnicities, religions and sexual orientations, it is important to understand both the goals and challenges of policing and dealing with hate and bias crimes. Considering that since the beginning stages of immigration we have tried to support successful assimilation, hate and bias crimes create a huge barrier. Hate and bias crimes “occur when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her membership in a certain social group, usually defined by race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, gender identity, or political affiliation” (en.wikipedia.org). Not only is it difficult for our society to identify this sort of crime,…show more content…
Still, while this might be a helpful step, it is still tough to define, identify and fairly deal with bias crimes on a case-by-case basis. There is still no clearly-defined code given to officers concerning how to deal with hate and bias crimes, and because every situation is different and deserves individual attention, police officers are given a certain amount of discretion. Although this may seem to be the most rational way of dealing with hate and bias crimes, it puts a large amount of pressure on officers. The ambiguities of bias are also a cause for concern among police officers themselves; when investigating any crime, law enforcement must use extreme caution in order to ensure that non-biased profiling techniques are used. Racial profiling is a form of bias-based profiling, and is defined as “the inclusion of racial or ethnic characteristics in determining whether a person is considered likely to commit a particular type of crime or an illegal act” (en.wikipedia.org). One of the biggest issues that police officers face is the challenge of not being accused of being biased themselves. They have to take information from suspects, victims and witnesses in order to properly investigate, yet refrain from having or giving the impression of any sort of bias. As for what sort of bias and hate crimes typically occur in the US, several studies have found that of all the

More about Bias and Hate Crimes

Open Document