The Incident Behind Whren V. United States

1427 Words Dec 13th, 2016 6 Pages
An example of racial profiling that involves both Stop-and-Frisk and DWB is the incident behind Whren v. United States. The incident behind the case involved two black men, Michael Whren and James Lester Brown, in Washington D.C. who were driving a truck through a high drug area. An unmarked police car with two officers pulled up next to the truck that was stopped at a stop sign for an unreasonable amount of time and then sped away at a high speed. The police officers then pulled them over and saw a clear plastic bag. Under the suspicion that it was drugs, they searched the car and ended up finding a substantial amount of drugs. The decision of Whren v. United States says that if a police officer has a reasonable suspicion, he can stop the car for that reason alone. There is no need for a traffic offense because ‘driving suspiciously’ is enough to warrant a stop. While yes, they did see the plastic bag and that was the caused for the search, they stopped them because they were African American men in a high drug area and drove suspiciously. There is no saying that if they were two white men that they would not have been pulled over as well, however, if they were two black men not in a high drug area and drove suspiciously they would have still been more likely to be pulled over than two white men. This shows the underlying problem is not that the law directly discriminates, it’s that the police who enforce and the society who follows it that have biases and stereotypes that…

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