Police Corruption and Ethnicity

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Police Corruption and Ethnicity
Gretchen Conwell
Stephen Humphries

On July 16, 2009, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. a Harvard professor was returning home from a trip to the Republic of China. Exiting the rented limousine the University provided from him, he approached the front door to his home. While struggling with the door trying to gain entrance to his home his driver proceeded to help by trying to force the door open. Police that were in the area proceeded to arrest Gates and spurned an investigation into police racial profiling and corruption toward minority groups alike (Staples, 2011).

While a person would like to think the police treat everyone the same, regardless of their ethnicity or race, police corruption occurs more often within these communities than what may believed. Perhaps, previous notions or ideals of a certain race or ethnic group can be the blame for officer’s perceptions of said group, however, corruption need not be utilized within law enforcement at all; especially in those groups that are the minority. It would seem that however diverse this country becomes, police corruption and ill treatment of minorities still persist.

One such example is in the form of a LAPD police officer who was found to have been employing racial profiling when conducting traffic stops. This officer would stop any Latinos and ticket them because of their ethnicity (Rubin, 2012). An internal probe into this investigation only proved that the officer did indeed stop Latinos for traffic stops because of their ethnic background. However, because of instances such as this many minority groups have a mistrust of the police and continue to believe police corruption is prevalent only within minority groups and the officers that serve that community.

A study that was performed by Menjivar & Bejarano (2004), speaks of Latinos perceptions of crime and police authorities with minorities in the United States. In this study there are documented cases of...
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