According to the 11 Facts about Racial Discrimination, “The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics concluded that an African American male born in 2001 has a 32% chance of going to jail in his lifetime, while a Latino male has a 17% chance, and a white male only has a 6% chance” (11 Facts about Racial Discrimination 1). Racial profiling, or discriminating against a whole group of people based on their race, is an unjust act and a big problem in our society today. Arresting people because of how they look like, or what they believe in is absurd. According to ACLU, “Racial Profiling refers to 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” (ACLU 1). Although law enforcement assumes they are doing their job, they need to remain objective and fair in all situations, because they are violating rights, lacking protection and risking lives.
Since the birth of our nation, racial profiling has been an issue longstanding and troubling among minority groups and still continues to exhibit severe consequences in communities.
What makes America? Is it the freedoms granted to any American citizen? Is it the way the founding fathers fought for their own freedom against Britain? Is it instead the racial history behind this nation? America, since its origins has been a country of immigrants and for immigrants, yet since its origins, there has been discriminatory laws against blacks, Latinos, Asians, and every other race that is not considered white or Caucasian. Has this country that has been based upon racial profiling, that has fought wars as one nation (and even against themselves at one point), and has triumphed through the Civil Rights movement finally succumbed to justice or is racial profiling just as prominent today? Racial profiling still exists in America because ____________________, ___________________, and _____________________. (3 reasons stated in thesis)
Racial profiling in law enforcement is referenced when a law enforcement officer targets an individual for suspicion of a crime. A broader definition of racial profiling in law enforcements is when a law enforcement officer, uses an individual’s race or ethnicity, age , time of the day (usually later in the day), dress code and also location to accuse a person of a crime. In today’s world the term racial profiling can be viewed in various view points, because of people having different opinions on the term, many disagreements occur. Some people believe that specific incidents are not cases of racial profiling and others think otherwise, needless to say an argument occurs.
The issue of racial profiling in America is one of great importance to the future of American society. This issue is not new to our society; racism and stereotyping are issues that date back to many years ago. Racial profiling in America is on that needs to be addressed by the government and society if we ever want America to truly be, The Land of The Free.
Racial profiling is simply, “the unlawful police practice of using race, color, or ethnic background, as the reason for conducting a traffic stop on an individual.” (Michigan Civil Rights Commission) This definition can be extended to any kind of discrimination mainly based on myths and stereotypes towards a certain race or ethnicity. However, the term racial profiling is commonly used when a police officer or any other law enforcer stops, questions, searches or arrests an individual purely on the basis of their race. African Americans or simply blacks have been the major racial group that has suffered much of racial profiling. Much of this is based on the stereotypes against the blacks are perceived as more likely to engage in criminal activities. For instance, in a 2013 Racial Profiling Data from Ferguson Police Department, out of 5384 police stops, 4632 were against blacks. (Ferguson Police Dept. 1) Despite the low population of blacks in U.S. compared to other races, the former continues being subjected to more racial profiling. Racial profiling against African Americans continues to expose the blacks to humiliation and racial injustices, as this paper will expose, thereby calling for the responsible authorities to address and find solutions for the problem.
Racial profiling is a very prevalent issue within the criminal justice system that is quite controversial, but there is a significant number of evidence that shows that racial profiling has been present since the 1600’s and continues to be a significant issue. Racial profiling is evident in the criminal justice system in various ways such as in interrogations, jury selection, misleading statistics, stops, and immigration laws. Racial profiling within interrogations and jury selection can be seen with the Brandley v. Keeshan case. Racial profiling within statistics can be seen in instances where the numbers focus on arrests and incarcerations that do not necessarily mean a crime was committed. Stops are seen as evidence showing racial profiling with a personal experience, and lastly, immigration laws are seen as showing racial profiling by the encounter of a Mexican American women had with an officer in Arizona.
One major problem with the Justice System is that law enforcement use racial profiling affecting many people of color on a daily basis. Racial profiling is when law enforcement believe that certain groups are more likely to commit a crime rather than other groups. This is a major problem because in many cases there are very tragic incidents and as NAACP stated, “ Mr. Garner’s tragic death shows that for communities of color, including women and LGBT people of color, immigrants and low income communities, racial profiling has been and continues to be a constant reality of life, often with tragic and deadly consequences,” (45) Explains how racial profiling has become an everyday basis to minorities affecting them in many ways and unfortunately ends with death occasionally. Racial profiling is a huge dilemma
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).
“In 2005, a study analyzing data accumulated statewide in Texas reveals disproportionate traffic ceases and searches of African Americans and Hispanics, even though law enforcement authorities were more liable to find contraband on Whites.” (The Reality of Racial Profiling) The utilization of personal characteristics or comportment patterns to make generalizations about a person is called racial profiling. Throughout time, the utilization of race by law enforcement agencies in their policing activities has received considerable attention across the nation. The 4th amendment right that one has as an American, which is protecting against unreasonable search and seizure, is becoming contravened; one reason for the way one looks. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that racial profiling violates the constitutional requirement that all persons be accorded equal protection of the law, but it is still occurring in our society. Racial Profiling has caused the violation of our rights whether it maybe from a terry stop that was originated for the case Terry vs. Ohio, stop and frisk, racial vehicle stops, and the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act also known as Arizona SB 1070.
Even the United States struggles with issues of racial discrimination despite being a society highly based on immigrants and multicultural diversity. On one hand, people frown on treatment based on race, whether that is on an individual or group level. On the other, people are tired and annoyed by the seemingly constant call of discrimination. All of these feelings culminate into the debate pertaining to the use of racial profiling. Likewise, there are some individuals that hold a certain level of acceptance in regard to racial profiling. However, what is lost in the process because of that acceptance? There are many components that need to be thought about in reference to the use of racial profiling. In addition, it can be viewed
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
Racial profiling has been a recurring issue for quite a while in the history of America and it appears as if it will proceed the same. Many individuals do not know what racial profiling stands for and sometimes victims of racial profiling aren’t even aware of the meaning. Racial profiling is often identified as the use of race by any law pursuing organization to any extent, as a reason for unlawful conjecture in non-specific inspections. Every person is entitled to basic human freedoms and rights, which are undermined when discrimination based on religion, nationality, ethnicity, race, or other particular status occurs. It is unlawful to discriminate against citizens regardless of their race according to the United States Constitution, Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Racial profiling is an example of police brutality, which is defined by Gross and Livingston (2002) as “the practice of some officers of stopping motorists of certain racial or ethnic groups because the officer believe that these groups are more likely than others to commit certain types of crimes” (p.1413). Therefore, individuals are treated unfairly by law enforcement solely based on their race. This type of mistreatment is unmerited and ultimately a violation of an individual’s rights. However, in many instances the courts do not find it a violation of their civil rights based on the fact that racial profiling is difficult to prove. Often, prosecutors are disinclined in bringing forth a case against officers on this particular matter. Officers are permitted to stop and search individuals and their vehicles whenever there is reasonable suspicion, however, there has been studies that prove that some law enforcement officers restrict these rights primarily to minority groups. Bowling and Phillips found that although there was no formal monitoring of use of these powers, it was concluded that it was particularly heavy use of these powers against ethnic minorities, largely of young black people (as cited in Sharp & Atherton, 2007, p. 747) . In several cases, officers argue that they reasonably pulled an individual over for other probable grounds such as: traffic violations, suspicious behavior, etc., with race never being an
Racial profiling is when someone’s race is used by law enforcement to assume criminal suspicions (Spagnoli, Filip). Law enforcement has used racial profiling to “help” prevent criminal activity. For instance, a survey done by the department of justice when officers focused more on African-American and Latino drivers they found that less of them had drugs the when they least focused on white drivers (The Truth About Racial Profiling: FIVE FACTS). Some officers assume that Hispanics and African-Americans are carrying around illegal substances and weapons. This is not always true! As the survey revealed, most of the people who did have prohibited items were white Americans. Law enforcement should begin stopping drivers by suspicion not by their race. In another survey done by Ian Ayres and Jonathan Borowsky they had found very similar information. “We also found that, once people were stopped, officers were more likely to frisk, search, or arrest African-Americans and Latinos than whites…when these frisks and searches are substantially less likely to uncover weapons, drugs, or other types of contraband” (Borowsky, Ayres). Officers are spending more time on race than focusing on real criminals who are ousting the reasons why this country is remarkable. Other cases like these have been confirmed as well. “Relative to stopped whites, stopped blacks is 127% more likely and