Summary and Response

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Summary: In “You Have the Right to Remain a Target of Racial Profiling,” syndicated columnist Eugene Robinson tries to impress upon his readers that racial profiling is still utilized by today’s police force. Mr. Robinson utilizes statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, to make his point. These statistics are taken from the Federal criminal justice system. Based on these statistics, he states that minorities (primarily blacks) are at least twice as likely to have their vehicle searched on a routine traffic stop. Mr. Robinson further points out the fact that minorities are statistically more likely to receive a citation, where whites are more likely to receive a verbal warning. Finally, Mr. Robinson makes the statement that if all individuals pulled over were searched equally that police would uncover evidence of tens of thousands more crimes annually. This statement is not supported by Bureau of Justice Statistics, as is the rest of the article, but is strictly conjecture. Response: Your article titled, “You Have the Right to Remain a Target of Racial Profiling,” is a compelling argument that racial profiling still exists and is being used in our “Federal” police force. I emphasize “Federal” since the statistics you use are only gathered from Federal cases. You infer, through omission, that these statistics support all traffic violations. I must confess that I agree that it exists on some level everywhere, but not that it’s as ubiquitous as you claim. Profiling is nothing more than a compilation of words like - determine, assess, judge, weigh, evaluate, etc. All are used to statistically determine a predictable manner. You erroneously use the term Racial Profiling when the statistics more accurately suggest the use of the approved profiling method called Offender Profiling. We, as a society, empower our police with the authority to do offender profiling in service to the public. I certainly don’t want to impede...
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