The Dangers Of Racial Profiling In Law Enforcement

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“Racism isn’t about how you look, it’s about people assigning meaning to how you look.” -Robin D.G. Kelley. Racial profiling has been used for centuries around the world. From the Mongols in 300 B.C.E., to modern day soccer moms, this method of discrimination is widespread. Racial discrimination dates back a long time, but has deep roots in Western culture. Modern racial profiling began in the 1970’s when law enforcement wanted to identify drug dealers, and was implemented in the 80’s by the DEA (drug enforcement agency) to intercept drug couriers on highways. This procedure led to shortcuts such as stopping people of a certain race, often a certain age group of black or Hispanic males. Officers would inspect the car, and search for more incriminating evidence. By the 90’s, these stops became routine for law enforcement officers. Racial profiling should be filtered out of law enforcement practices for three key reasons: it harms trust of law enforcement within communities, it increases unwarranted targets on minorities, and finally it increases civilian use of racial profiling. Obviously, racial profiling is not used by every police officer, in every city, of every state. Officers do not ALL use this method as a way of recognizing crime. In a review of body and dash cams, racial profiling is not used as we all believe. However, this definitely does not excuse the fact that hundreds if not thousands of officers fall back on this practice, and therefore, increases the

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