Racial Profiling and African American Males

Topics: Race and Ethnicity, United States, African American Pages: 5 (1582 words) Published: May 22, 2011
Axia College
March, M.

Racial profiling has been an issue in the United States since the beginning of time. Racial profiling is more of a problem today than before but has been a problem since slavery. The main target of racial profiling is African American males. It seems that the larger cities in the United State have this problems the most, for example, Los Angeles and New York. There are stories daily of racial profiling by the police in the United States. African American males are stopped in traffic stops more often than any other race. Police officers, just like a lot of people in society, stereotype African American men. The police believe African American men are most likely taking part in some type of criminal activity. African American males are not the only race that is racially profiled; Muslims, Arabs, and Mexicans are too. There is also racial profiling for African America males when they are trying to get a job. In the United States racial profiling is against the law but police officers seem to get a pass and they do it every day. Statistics

Though African Americans make up about twelve percent of the national population, they represent close to half of those who are incarcerated for crimes, according to official incarceration data. An estimated twelve percent of African American men ages twenty to thirty-four were either in jail or prison in 2002. Researchers with the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimate that twenty-eight percent of African American males will be jailed or imprisoned at some point in their life (Coker, D. 2003). A lot of these men that are incarcerated were stopped walking, riding a bike, or driving just because they are African American. The statistics make it seem like African Americans commit more crimes than any over race and that’s not true. If the police stopped the other races half as many times as they stop African Americans, the incarceration rate would be more equal. Traffic Stops

Police officers have the right to stop anyone they want to, however, them stopping and interrogating certain races and ethnic groups is considered racial profiling. It is a known fact that African American males are the target of these types of traffic stops. African Americans males do have the most criminal records but usually they are stopped because of their vehicle, their skin color, how many people are in their car, or minor traffic stop. These types of racial profiling cases have caused serious injuries and even death of some African American males, for example, Sean Bell and Rodney King. In both of these cases, the incidents are found to be racially motivated and the police used excessive force. Sean Bell is shot 50 times by five plainclothes NYPD detectives on November 25 in front of Kalua Cabaret nightclub in Jamaica, Queens, where his bachelor party was held hours before his wedding. Law enforcement were to claim that they had reason to believe the men Bell was with had a gun, yet no weapon was recovered (Barker, J., 2008). On March 3, 1991, Rodney King was hit with a baton 56 times, kicked six times, and hit with a taser twice after a traffic stop. The two incidents are only two of many incidents that have happened in the United States. Other Races

Racial profiling is not limited to just African American males. There are other races that are victims of racial profiling. September 11, 2001 was a horrible day for the United Sates but this day lead to the racial profiling of Arabs, Muslims, and South Asians but African American males have been racially profiled since the beginning of time. After the attacks in 2001, when Muslims and Arabs were trying to board planes they were racially profile. They filed suit against the airports, some have been settled but some are still pending. Muslims and Arabs have been held by law enforcement officers for immigration violations, just because of their race. Arabs are being racial profiled sociologically, politically, and...
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