A Study of Racial Profiling in Arizona

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Siddhanth Warrier
Professor Barrie Stevens
Writing 101- 10
November 19, 2012

Land of the Free, Home of the White; A Study of Racial Profiling in Arizona

Racial profiling is essentially the act of using skin color as a probable cause to detain someone. This phenomenon is unfortunately very common, and is frequently used by law enforcement agencies around the United States as a means to deal with illegal activity. It is morally reprehensible in that it promotes racist practice amongst law enforcement officers, and it is inefficient as a method of law enforcement because it discourages investigation. Despite these aspects of racial profiling there are places in the United States where it is favored. In April of 2010, a new legislative act was signed in the state of Arizona for the purpose of cracking down on illegal immigration. This law is an example of racial profiling at its worst, while at the same time having a negative impact on the overall efficiency of law enforcement in Arizona. The bill, entitled Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act consists of provisions the purpose of which is to curtail and punish illegal immigration and anyone involved in. There is a provision in the law that advocates racial profiling. One of the stipulations of the law states “A law enforcement officer, without a warrant, may arrest a person if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States” (Arizona State Senate). This stipulation is what gives the law its power to enforce the other stipulation it puts forward. It is because of this provision that law enforcement officers are able to detain people they suspect of being guilty of the offences laid out in this law. However, this provision also sanctions racial profiling. Given that the stipulation that gives the law this power is dependent on racial profiling, the entire law relies on racial profiling to...
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