Racial Profiling

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Carla Watts
Professor Huttner- Eng 101
Research Paper
03/27/2012
Racial Profiling
Racial Profiling exists in today’s society. It has become a serious issue within communities. Racial Profiling can be defined as the practice of subjecting citizens to increased surveillance or scrutiny based on racial or ethnic factors rather than “reasonable suspicion”. Over the years, police and other law enforcement officials have come under fire for using this practice. The issue of racial profiling is determining whether it helps with preventing crime or does it just violate citizens and their rights. Despite what officials may think racial profiling doesn’t help fight crime it only contributes to the racial tension among police and citizens. It creates inequality for certain citizens. Situations between police and the public are very stressful and highly contested events. A strong reason for law enforcement officers to target minorities, particularly Black and Hispanic motorists, is the common belief that they are more likely to be violating laws, particularly drug laws.( Jost) With this perception, minority communities are feeling targeted and harassed by police officers. It is clear that given the power and discretion available to police, the experience of being subject to racial profiling can lead both to a feeling of being harassed and to a sense of alienation from the legal system and the wider society. (Chan) For example, when a police officer stops a black motorist, they are likely to be stopped and their car searched. While White motorist are just simply stopped and let go. This is because police have such wide discretion. They randomly stop any vehicle, at any time, for any reason or no reason at all. These situations are very drastic for the citizens. Over a long period of time, negative experience such as racial profiling can lead to specific ethnic groups’ losing confidence in the police (Chan). The police are suppose to protect and to serve,...
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