Throughout the last one hundred and fifty years, there has been a history of tension and conflict between the police and minority communities in the United States. In principle, the police exist to enforce the law and protect all citizens regardless of race or ethnic background, yet police departments across the country have been repeatedly accused of targeting and harassing racial minorities, and of failing to root out racist attitudes and practices within their ranks. In recent years, high profile cases such as the beating of Rodney King in Los Angles and the assault on Abner Louima in New York have only served to heighten concerns over the mistreatment of minorities by the police, resulting in widespread calls for major legal and institutional reforms. The recent shootings of Michael Brown, Ezell Ford, Eric Garner, and Terrance Crutcher underscore the danger Black men and boys face when they cross paths with law enforcement officers. In the absence of a coordinated national strategy, state and local police departments have largely been left to develop their own solutions to the problems of policing minority communities and improving cultural sensitivity amongst their officers. Many departments have sought to reform recruitment and selection policies in the hope of attracting greater numbers of minority applicants, while others have instituted diversity training and education programs aimed at improving police understanding of minority cultures and communities. To date, however, these efforts have yielded mixed results. Some departments have achieved notable successes, but on the whole, relations between the police and minority communities across the country remain strained. of cultural diversity and the police.
This article entitled “Jim Crow Policing”, written by Bob Herbert, is an opinionated article which aims to shed light on the alleged racist and xenophobic behaviors of the New York Police Department. The article was published on February 1st, 2010, almost 7 years ago, which is important to note because of the changing environment that New York is as a whole. Herbert takes a stance against the NYPD, claiming that the officers of the department have “no obligation to treat them (blacks, hispanics, other minorities) fairly or with any respect…” He also states in his opening paragraph that some of the officers that are partaking in the harassment are minorities themselves, and he calls that
Racial profiling is a futile method in preventing domestic and international terrorism. But regardless of this fact, the United States has attempted to employ this technique in its counter-terror and espionage efforts dating back as early as World War II. And as long as this has been present in has been a point of contention and discussion amongst the American populace, as this country has well documented accounts of this throughout their history that include: the internment of Japanese-Americans in WWII, the profiling of minorities and low-income areas during the War on Drugs,
Furthermore, after the incident of September 11th, 2001, people of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian background have been profiled by airline personnel, the local police, and federal law enforcement. Also, ever since the dawn of the war on drugs in the 1980’s, the police have been targeting mostly the black and Latino drivers for drugs. The police do racial profiling as to lower the acts of crime, but what they do not realize is that crime is not always done by specific racial groups. As for the targeting only the black and Latinos for drugs, many studies at traffic stops have shown that white drivers were most likely to possess drugs rather than their African American and Hispanic counterparts. Similarly, in the New York City, the Latinos and Blacks are the victims of stop-and-frisks. While the New York City authorities say that it helps lower crimes, New York Civil Liberties Union have shown that whites have been found in the possession of more weapons than their Hispanic and/or African American counterparts. All these above-mentioned examples prove Alexander’s idea of racism persists.
Minority communities across the country are facing extreme adversity. They not only have to contend with assimilation to the western culture, but has become targets of hate crimes. The current political climate has exacerbated the hatred for Asian communities and communities of color. Rising crimes against Asians in Metropolitan cities such as Queens, New York has shocked the Asian communities, enraged activists, and prompted political actions. Members of New York congressional delegation has urged New York police department to examine and propose tangible solutions to the rise of crimes against Asian-Americans. There is an urgent need to for local law enforcement to establish open dialogue and build trusts with the impacted communities. Public engagement is extremely
One of the most imminent threats looming within American society is race relations. America is a melting pot of different races, cultures, and religions, yet the matter of racial profiling still remains prominent today. By definition it is considered “an activity carried out by enforcers of the law wherein they investigate or stop any individual in traffic or round up people of the same race or ethnicity for crime suspicion” (NYLN.org ). This profiling has become a significant catalyst in the tension that has been ensuing between minorities and the government. Hostility has grown due to the apparent and intentional targeting of “brown people”, and
communities in order to achieve goals and avoid conflicts. Racism, discrimination, and miscommunication have been the cause of countless police/immigrant community confrontations, and that in return diminishes the chances of recruiting Asian-American candidates towards a career in law enforcement.
Ernest Duenez, Jr. was killed by police officer John Moody on June 8, 2011. When Ernest pulled into his driveway, Moody shouted to Ernest to put his hands up and drop the knife. However, Ernest had no knife in his hands. Moody fired thirteen bullets and eleven shots struck Ernest on his chest, back and head. His family was completely devastated; they searched for justice for Ernest, while helping his widow with her child, who was just seventeen days away from his first birthday. Tragedies such as this one can be greatly reduced by body cameras. For example, the Rialto study, where police officers wearing body cameras resorted to physical force 59 percent less than those who did not wear body cameras. When wearing body cameras, police officers would not behave negatively in a situation where they may incriminate themselves.
Racial profiling remains a dormant issue in the United States. It is the act of the authority, mostly, police officers linking minority status to criminal behaviour (Glover, 2007). Several police officers in the United States target specific groups because they don’t display characteristics of typical Caucasian individuals (Glover, 2007). To put history into context, before 9/11, not many police officers profiled individuals based on their ethnic backgrounds but after the attack, there was an increase in racial profiling (Harris, 2006). A racial profiling method that became prevalent in the 1980s in the United States was administered by the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration. Operation Pipeline was a program that they launched to help police officers catch drug traffickers (Harris, 2006). In a video, they taught police officers to look for clues that would help them recognize criminals. It was noticed that police officers made a majority of stops to people with Hispanic last names (Harris, 2006). Marshall Frank, a former police officer was asked what police officers should do if they saw an African man driving around a white community. Frank responded by stating that the police officers should stop the vehicle and investigate the reason to why he was there even if there was no occurrence of a crime (Harris, 2006).
Many Americans believe that the United States has entered a “post-racial” era, yet racial profiling remains a longstanding and deeply troubling national problem. If the U.S. is a place of freedom and equality, then why has “racial profiling been legitimized as public policy?” (Sudbury, 2014). Discrimination displayed on an every-day basis in the criminal justice field violates the Fourteenth Amendment, which ensures equal protection, as people of color are unfairly targeted. Discriminatory interactions between various races and law enforcement officers occurs daily,
In recent years, recruitment and retention of police officers has been a pain point for many departments across the nation. Odd and inflexible hours, uncompetitive pay, para-militaristic organizational structures, and a negative public perception have all worked to diminish the pool of applicants interested in careers in law enforcement. Add to the mix the sexist “brotherhood” police culture, emphasis on masculinity and aggression, and the nearly non-existent opportunities for advancement for women, and over half of the eligible workforce has been discouraged from even considering a career in law enforcement. In 2013, women comprised just over 57% of the labor force, but accounted for only 13% of sworn police officers (USDOL, 2013; Crooke, 2013). Not only are women sorely underrepresented in the field of law enforcement, but those who are employed experience discrimination at the hands of their supervisors and coworkers, and as a result, the attrition rate for women is often much higher than that of their male counterparts. Departments should pledge dedication to recruiting and retaining more female officers, as research indicates that not only do females perform just as well as males in patrol positions, but they also have a unique set of advantages to offer agencies when employed in law enforcement. In order to improve the recruitment and retention of females into policing roles, departments must determine the biggest deterrents for women who are considering the pursuit
In relation to the debate of ‘racial profiling,’ Taylor and Whitney define racial profiling as “the practice of questioning blacks in disproportionate numbers in expectation that they are more likely than people of other races to be criminals” (Taylor & Whitney, 2002). Statistics show that African-Americans and Hispanics commit more crime than Caucasians, with 90% of the 1.7 million interracial crimes stemming from the hands of African-American men. Even looking at these numbers, does that make it okay for the police to arrest and interrogate these racial minorities at such a high frequency? Where are these statistics coming from? How accurate are they? Does the media provide a skewed analysis of these findings? These are the types of questions that need to be addressed in regard to evaluating the validity of racial profiling.
In this particular case, Hassan v. City of New York, a variety of issues have been raised that intersect with the idea of government surveillance on these Muslim Communities. This case does not utilize a federal or state RFRA, but rather focuses strictly on determining the legal validity of the government surveillance program of Muslim Americans. The Plaintiffs have argued that the NYPD’s government surveillance program has violated the equal protection, establishment, and free exercise freedoms of the constitution. To understand these issues, it is important to examine each of these issues one by one.
A police officer can be compelled to submit to a polygraph examination under threat of discharge in some states because he has failed to answer questions about his job duties. There is some diversity from lower courts whether officer should be made to take the polygraph test.
In this TED Talk, Jamil Jivani draws attention to one major growing issue today—distrust in the police department. Jivani explains how statistically, minorities are consistently being sought out more than whites. He expresses his own experience with two cops and how they targeted him without any evidence. Instead of believing he was innocent until proven guilty, they assumed he was guilty and requested documentation. Jivani utilizes his story to illustrate the difficulties minorities face every day with their police. Furthermore, cops are the visible faces of government and if citizens do not trust cops then they do not trust the government. This distrust doesn’t occur overnight, but instead it builds over time due to small incidents of racial