Racial Profiling Is A Necessary Evil

1100 Words Jul 31st, 2014 5 Pages
Racial Profiling
In order to understand racial profiling, it must first be correctly defined. Although different authors use different criteria for the term racial profiling, the definition for the word racial is “of, relating to, or based on a race The definition the dictionary puts forth for profiling is “the act of suspecting or targeting a person solely on the basis of observed characteristics or behavior.” Based on these definitions, racial profiling could be defined for criminal justice purposes as targeting a person based solely on the characteristic of race. Most people, law enforcement officers included, would consider racial profiling based on this definition as ethically wrong. However, a case must be made for the use of profiling based on race in some circumstances. Racial profiling a sore topic when it comes to policing, it is a necessary evil. Racial profiling is a term used to describe the practice of targeting or stopping an individual based primarily on race or ethnicity, rather than on individualized suspicion or probable cause. It became particularly politicized in the late 1990s as police departments came under media and political scrutiny for disproportionately targeting minority drivers (Farrell, McDevitt, Cronin, and Pierce, 2003; Harris, 2002; Weitzer and Brunson, in press). Civil rights organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) launched national media…

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