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Racial Profiling

By ajlaboloban Apr 29, 2013 858 Words
How Racism is Handled Throughout American Law Officials
Imagine being in a situation where someone was a Mexican male driving and following all rules of the road but still getting pulled over. Would that person rethink the way they were driving and convince themselves they made a mistake or would they think it is because they appear to be Hispanic? Racial profiling is the discriminatory practice by law enforcement officials of targeting individuals for suspicion of crime based on the individual’s race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin. Racial profiling does not work and is unconstitutional. Criminal profiling works if it is based off of behavioral factors, not race.

Racial profiling is not only discriminatory, but against the law in many states. An example of racial profiling would be when certain federal courts showed that transportation systems engage in racial profiling of their passengers in violation of Federal law, like in Boston, where an employee from the airport removed a Hispanic man and two Israeli men from a plane because that employee thought they were Arab. Many people who engage in racial profiling use stereotypes to catch “criminals.” Such as the stereotype that all Muslims are terrorists, which is not true because terrorism is against the Islamic religion.

The Fourth Amendment states that the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Police are 28 times more likely to stop black people than white people, and less than 3% of the black people searched are arrested. That is evidence that police are violating the Fourth Amendment.

From personal experience being a white Muslim, there have been more times where someone that appears to be Muslim, as in wearing a turban or hijab and having darker skin, has been searched at an airport than someone that is white and Muslim. That personally, is proof that racial profiling goes on by people whose jobs are to keep other people safe, while respecting their rights at the same time.

Statistics show that consensual searches of Blacks were 37 percent less likely to uncover weapons, 23.7 percent less likely to uncover drugs, and 25.4 percent less likely to uncover any other type of contraband than consensual searches of Whites. (Wade J. Henderson, Page 9) David Harris, a racial profiling expert at the University of Toledo in Ohio says that, “when we use race to predict who we think might be criminals, what we do is we subject everybody in that group to treatment as a potential criminal.”

Racial profiling distracts from catching actual criminals. If police are out searching people that are committing crimes and base it off their race, they will miss many actual criminals. Nowadays if someone were to watch the news, more than half the time the criminal the news people are talking about looks like a “normal” guy that no one would expect would commit a crime. Such as the 2 men who allegedly were behind the Boston Marathon bombing. They were two normal, sweet guys and all of their friends were shocked to hear that terror happened because of them.

However, there are some reasons people support racial profiling. Such as the fact that minorities are most likely stopped more because police patrol high-crime areas, which, most of the time, are minority neighborhoods. Also, with people accusing police of racial profiling it will restrain them from stopping as many people and that way, they would not catch as many criminals as they could.

Therefore, supporters’ reasons to allow racial profiling make a good argument, although critics’ reasons prove that it is wrong by stating that racial profiling is discriminatory, is less accurate than focusing on behavior, and takes away from catching real criminals. Personally, racial profiling is horrible and should be outlawed everywhere because it does not help at all and can hurt someone deeply. In almost all research statistics show that racial profiling is more ineffective than it is effective. Everyone should participate in some sort of campaign to end racial profiling. There are many in different states, and just one person could make a huge difference.

Works Cited
Beleaga, Teodora. "Terror Stop and Search Police Statistics." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 15 Dec. 0019. Web. 22 Apr. 2013. Dodd, Vikram. "Police up to 28 times More Likely to Stop and Search Black People – Study." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 11 June 2012. Web. 22 Apr. 2013. Elliott, Jasmine. "American Civil Liberties Union." American Civil Liberties Union. ACLU, 29 June 2010. Web. 22 Apr. 2013. "Fourth Amendment." LII. Cornell University Law School, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2013. "Racial Profiling." Racial Profiling. Flying White Muslim, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2013. “Update: Crime and Race.” Issues & Controversies On File: n. pag. Issues & Controversies. Facts On File News Services, 25 May 2007. Web. 2 Feb. 2011.


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