Top-Rated Free Essay

Racial Profiling

Good Essays
Topics: Police, Law
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, when they use racial profiling it effects citizens negatively. Individuals are less likely to cooperate with people they do not trust, and may develop questions regarding all aspects of the criminal justice system (Warren). Citizens may also respond to the law inappropriately, with the perception that they are going to be harmed or unfairly targeted by law officials. They may also retaliate for injustices that happen in the past. On the other hand, law officials that use the practice of racial profiling may go into a situation with a higher degree of force and cause the situation to escalate. This mistrust for the criminal justice system can lead to riots and excessive violence. The law governing racial profiling has grown considerably. This growth has resulted in numerous significant developments in various areas of law, all of which touch on the need for ongoing vigilance regarding police practices and law enforcement (MacAlister). But the practice of racial profiling is hard to prove. You have to prove whether the officer is being racially prejudiced or is it the result of organizational practices. The solution to this would simply be to do more research. Assessment of the issue would be costly and time consuming, but “You can’t manage what you don’t measure”. (MacAlister) with that being said, if the government and law officials don’t accurately assess the issue then they won’t have a solution. Officials have to educate themselves on race relations and they have to be sure that racial profiling is actually occurring in the community. Officials will also have to show some type of commitment in addressing the issue to the community and police officers. It is also important for officials to set new organizational practices that have no tolerance for racial profiling. The media needs t be involved, so that citizens are ensured that policing practices are not always accepted and that hope for change is escalated and something is done about Racial Profiling.

Works Cited
MacAlister, David. "The Law Governing Racial Profiling: Implications of Alternative Definitions of the Situation." Canadian Journal of Criminology & Criminal Justice
53.1 (2011): 95-103. Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 Mar. 2012.
Chan, Janet. "Racial Profiling And Police Subculture." Canadian Journal of Criminology & Criminal Justice 53.1 (2011): 75-78. Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 Mar. 2012.
Warren, Patricia Y. "The Continuing Significance of Race: An Analysis Across Two Levels of Policing." Social Science Quarterly (Blackwell Publishing Limited) 91.4 (2010): 1025-1042. Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 Mar. 2012.
Jost, Kenneth. "Policing the Police." CQ Researcher 17 Mar. 2000: 209-40. Web. 26 Mar. 2012.
Lippert-Rasmussen, Kasper. "Racial Profiling Versus Community." Journal of Applied Philosophy 23.2 (2006): 191-205. Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 Mar. 2012.

Cited: MacAlister, David. "The Law Governing Racial Profiling: Implications of Alternative Definitions of the Situation." Canadian Journal of Criminology & Criminal Justice 53.1 (2011): 95-103. Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 Mar. 2012. Chan, Janet. "Racial Profiling And Police Subculture." Canadian Journal of Criminology & Criminal Justice 53.1 (2011): 75-78. Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 Mar. 2012. Warren, Patricia Y. "The Continuing Significance of Race: An Analysis Across Two Levels of Policing." Social Science Quarterly (Blackwell Publishing Limited) 91.4 (2010): 1025-1042. Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 Mar. 2012. Jost, Kenneth. "Policing the Police." CQ Researcher 17 Mar. 2000: 209-40. Web. 26 Mar. 2012. Lippert-Rasmussen, Kasper. "Racial Profiling Versus Community." Journal of Applied Philosophy 23.2 (2006): 191-205. Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 Mar. 2012.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Racial Profiling

    • 907 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Against Racial Profiling and/or other forms of profiling in dealing with security and immigration issues. Group Members: Shay, Bryce, Brandon, Ariana Opening Argument Main Argument: Racial profiling is defined as 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 by the American civil Liberties union. How can something that… Racial profiling violates our constitutional…

    • 907 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Racial Profiling

    • 1787 Words
    • 8 Pages

    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…

    • 1787 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Racial Profiling

    • 656 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Racial Profiling A person should not be judged due to their appearance. Today skin color makes you a suspect in America. It makes you more likely to be stopped, more likely to be searched, and more likely to be arrested and imprisoned. When police officers stop or charge a person based on their race; that’s racial profiling. Racial profiling has been occurring around the nation for years. Statistics show that if a Caucasian man and an African American man are both driving a nice car and speeding…

    • 656 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Racial Profiling

    • 1260 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Racial Profiling The definition of racial profiling is prejudging someone by their ethnicity or racial profile based on the stereotypes that an ethnic group may carry. Racial profiling acknowledgement in America has grown rapidly over time and has really been on the rise since the September 11, 2001 bombings of the Twin Towers in New York City and of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. But is racial profiling defensible to the American public policy? Some people think like Scott Johnson…

    • 1260 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Racial Profiling

    • 753 Words
    • 4 Pages

    defines racial profiling as a police-initiated action relying on race or ethnicity besides the behavior of any individual who is suspected of engaging in criminal activity. Amnesty international, on the other hand, defines racial profiling as the use of race, ethnicity, and religion, to target individuals or groups by law enforcement officers because of lack of trustworthy information linking the aforementioned groups to crime or a scheme (Leonard…

    • 753 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Racial Profiling

    • 557 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Racial profiling should not exist in today’s society To begin I would like to state that I believe racial profiling does not work on many levels. Racial profiling is morally wrong mainly based on Middle Easterners, African Americans and Hispanics. I also believe that it may be considered as an act of antagonism. Racial profiling does nothing but provoke hostilities and create tension between the races. It creates various sociological problems and a turbulent environment. Racial profiling entails…

    • 557 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Racial profiling.

    • 1560 Words
    • 5 Pages

    There are several controversial issues surrounding racial profiling and the various problems that are encountered as a result of it. One issue is whether or not racial profiling exists. Most law enforcement departments refuse to undergo a study and they deny that racial profiling exists. These problems, coupled with the status of literature regarding this topic at this point, are more unreliable than scientific. In addition, the topic is controversial because the United States believes that it has…

    • 1560 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Racial Profiling

    • 1716 Words
    • 7 Pages

    of over 1,200 people in planned civil disobedience. In a trial that was moved out of the community where Diallo lived and to Albany in upstate New York, the four officers who killed Diallo were acquitted of all charges (“The Diallo” online). Racial Profiling is any police or private security practice in which a person is treated as a suspect because of his or her race, ethnicity, nationality or religion. This occurs when police investigate, stop, frisk, search or use force against a person based…

    • 1716 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Racial Profiling

    • 598 Words
    • 3 Pages

    The case for Racial Profiling the issue of racial profiling takes many shapes and forms. It is an issue that most of the free word is dealing with on a daily basis. In the United States racial profiling has been a hotly debated issue for many years. It has been reemphasized even more following the three separate terrorist attacks on September 11th 2001 that killed about 2,996 people. From its extreme form to the moderate, racial profiling is being defined as using a person's race as a factor…

    • 598 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Racial Profiling

    • 604 Words
    • 3 Pages

    the extent of the race-based profiling that is carried out by law-enforcement officials and the demoralizing effect it has on its victims.” Herbert is only half right. Most White Americans “have no idea,” about how much racial profiling is actually going on. Most non-White Americans are unaware of how often profiling happens. Racial profiling is a bigger problem than most of us realize because authority often abuses their power. Herbert gives examples of racial profiling, which occurs in many parts…

    • 604 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays