Ethical Issues in Film

Topics: Police, United States, Law Pages: 4 (1518 words) Published: October 10, 2007
Racial profiling is a term society has become familiar with in the past few years; however, it is not a new phenomenon. Racial profiling according to Fredrickson, "occurs when law enforcement officials rely on race, skin color, and/or ethnicity as an indication of criminality, reasonable suspicion, or probable cause, except when it is part of the description of a particular suspect" (1). There are many opposing views on racial profiling; some believe it to be a useful tool used by law enforcement, while others believe it to be another way to discriminate against minorities. This paper sets out to examine racial profiling from its origin to present day, taking a look into both sides of the racial profiling issue to find what if any laws are in place to prevent racial profiling from taking place. Racial discrimination is not a new phenomenon it can be traced back over one hundred years to slavery times. Dark skinned individuals have always been seen as inferior to that of the white man. Even after slavery was abolished there was still segregation; separate drinking fountains, restrooms, colleges/educational facilities and bus seats for blacks and whites. This mentality has carried over to law enforcement and is seen today in the form of racial profiling. Racial discrimination has been around almost as far as we can look back in history; however, we can see a clear beginning to racial profiling of individuals within law enforcement. Over and over again on the news, radio, or by word of mouth we hear the stories of racial profiling by police, here is a story that shows how dangerous racial profiling is, not just to the victims but to all those of "color" living within the United States. Mr. Garcia was targeted as he and his six-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter waited in the car for his wife. He was approached by a police officer that requested his identification. When he questioned the need to show his I.D., the officer became angry, cursed at him, and...

Cited: Balkin, Karen. Civil Rights. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2004.
Fredrickson, D. Racial Profiling: Eliminating the Confusion. Springfield: Charles C. Thomas Publishers, 2002.
Free, Marvin. Racial Issues in Criminal Justice: The Case of African Americans. Westport: Praeger Inc, 2003.
Heuman, Milton. Good Cop, Bad Cop: Racial Profiling and Competing Views of Justice in America. New York: P. Lang, 2003.
MacDonald, Heather. Are Cops Racist? Chicago: I.R. Dee, 2003.
O 'Reilly, James. Police Traffic Stops and Racial Profiling: Resolving Management, Labor and Civil Rights Conflicts. Springfield: Charles C. Thomas, 2002.
Pampel, F.C. Racial Profiling. New York: Facts on File Inc, 2004.
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