Racial Profiling

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Profiling based on race has become a prevalent method that cops and authority figures use to arrest or question an individual. Racial profiling is most noticed on the highways and in airports. Racial profiling occurs when law enforcement or security officials, consciously or unconsciously, subject individuals at any location to heightened scrutiny based solely or in part on race, ethnicity, aboriginality, place of origin, ancestry, or religion, or on stereotypes associated with any of these factors, rather than on objectively reasonable grounds for suspecting that the individual is implicated in criminal activity (Satzewich & Shaffir 199). The efficiency and legality of profiling is highly debated.

Profiling occurs in neighborhoods, schools, and in businesses. Young black men driving expensive cars along a commonly used drug route or in a troubled community, an Arab trying to fly into or out of the United States, and Hispanics near the border are all commonly targeted by public officials for an unprovoked arrest or detention (Korsmeyer & Kranzler 317). In Maryland, African Americans made up 17.5 percent of the driving population, but 77 percent of the people police pulled over and searched were African American (Korsmeyer & Kranzler 318). Statistics from New Jersey found that 77 percent of the people who were stopped and searched were African American or Hispanic even though they do not even comprise 30 percent of the population (Korsmeyer & Kranzler 318)

Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey

Police officers generally use one of three methods for avoiding the blame of racial profiling. Intolerance of intolerance occurs when police deflect the blame by assuring the accuser of their commitment to diversity, tolerance, and fairness (Satzewich & Shaffir 212). The officer in question often refers to initiatives and organizational structure adaptation to deal with the issue of racial profiling and how they are effective at reducing its occurrence. The multicultural society deflection is, “the claim that the police could not possibly engage in racial profiling because their recruitment mechanisms are better than they were in the past, and they are now more attuned to diversity.” (Satzewich & Shaffir 215). Current officers argue that racial profiling is not an issue due to the fact that the recruiting and training processes to become a police officer have become increasingly difficult and have increased in racial and cultural diversity. A growth in diversity in the cultural society is used to prove that officers are getting progressively accustomed to living in a multiethnic society. They are trained to be more tolerant and mindful of the diversity that exists in the United States. Blaming the victim is the third method police and officials use to deflect the accusations of racial profiling (Satzewich & Shaffir 217). This method suggests that if there is a problem, then it is somebody else’s fault. Some interviewed officers claimed that the people who blame the police force for enforcing racial profiling are often uneducated on the matter, biased against the police, or form opinions based on inaccurate TV shows (Satzewich & Shaffir 217).

Racial Profiling is defined by the U. S. Department of Justice and includes only racial actions between the police and citizens. There definition is, “ racial profiling is defined as any police- initiated action that relies on race, ethnicity, or national origin rather than the behavior of an individual or information that leads police to a particular individual or information that leads police to a particular individual who has been identified as being or having been engaged in criminal activity” (Pampel 5). This theory regarding racial profiling has many important aspects. The first major aspect to notice is that it mentions police-initiated actions. Local police, state police,...
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