A controversial topic in American Policing is the issue of racial profiling. Many people have different views when it comes to this subject matter. Many people believe that racial profiling is a myth or ploy and is ultimately nonexistent. Others feel that racial profiling does exist and is a key contributing factor that law enforcement officers use to determine whether to perform law enforcement. The topic of Racial Profiling has been passionately debated among citizens, law enforcement officials, policy makers, and legislators at various levels of government. These debates has led to a large number civil lawsuits nationwide, court-ordered data collection, investigations into certain law enforcement agencies, and the passing of various laws mandating cultural diversity training and prohibiting racial profiling practices in various law enforcement agencies. Still, the following questions have not been thoroughly answered: Are African-Americans and other ethnic groups stopped by police because they are more likely to have committed certain types of traffic violations? Is race a significant predictor of being “pulled over”, cited or search by police? Does law enforcement officials target motorists based on race? This research paper will emphatically prove that African-Americans and other ethnic groups are disproportionately cited for traffic violations more often than whites.
Racial Profiling is defined as the use of an individual’s race or ethnicity by law enforcement personnel as a key factor in deciding whether to engage in enforcement (make a traffic stop or arrest)(Wilson, 2004). Due to public outcry and protest, Racial Profiling has been researched extensively. Most research has found that there is no relative information that police disproportionately stop people of color for traffic violations as oppose to white motorists. Others research has shown that some police officers stop motorists of certain racial or ethnic groups