Racial profiling and law enforcement

Writer, storyteller at Earthjustice, an environmental law organization. Dissecting the Long, Deep Roots of Racial Profiling in America At its core, racial profiling is about racism and stereotypes and assuming the worst of people based on a biased perception of reality that is then projected and multiplied, affecting and endangering everyone of that same race, ethnicity, nationality or religion. The problem, however, dates back centuries and is a fairly recent manifestation of discriminatory conduct by law enforcement and the criminal justice system that dates back to at least the s in the United States for people of African descent.

Racial profiling and law enforcement

Share on Facebook A distinguished Harvard professor and frequent television commentator returns home from a trip overseas. As he struggles with a sticky lock on his front door, Cambridge police officers who are cruising by stop and confront him.

You may imagine this story ends with the cops apologizing and maybe sharing an abashed chuckle with the professor. You would be wrong. A national uproar ensued, ending only after the president of the U.

Racial Profiling Pros and Cons List | OccupyTheory

What can explain this bizarre turn of events? One answer offered by many observers is a common theme in American cities: Racial profiling by the police. What is Racial Profiling? Although the term is used widely after notorious events like the arrest of Professor Gates, there is no accepted definition.

In general, the term is used to refer to police who target individuals for stops, searches, and arrest based on their race. The beginnings of racial profiling Behavioral scientists in the s proposed psychological profiles for certain particularly heinous criminals, such as serial murderers.

These agencies grouped together certain characteristics that they believed the targeted offenders shared.

What is Racial Profiling?

These skills include noticing patterns of conduct by certain types of criminals for example, the Cambridge officers who arrested Professor Gates pointed out that he had a large bag with him as he appeared to be jimmying the front door of the house, which they said could have indicated a robber breaking in to fill the bag with valuables.

Popular social science writer Malcolm Gladwell discussed this in his book, Blink. Under these programs, officers have the authority to stop technically, to arrest anyone briefly and frisk them for weapons or other contraband.

Police and supporters of the programs claim that the tactic helps keep guns off the streets and prevents gang violence before it can erupt.

Opponents argue that the tactic is just racial profiling—cops choose the people they stop and frisk, and the choices are usually young males of color.

Racial profiling and law enforcement

A study of vehicle searches by police on Ithe interstate highway that runs along the eastern seaboard of the U. The argument is that, if police are targeting African-American drivers out of racist impulses, the hit rate for searches of blacks should be lower than for whites. The study does not address hit rates.

Legal Remedies for Racial Profiling A person who believes that he has been subjected to a stop, search, or arrest based on his race has some legal options to invoke to address the wrong.

One option may be used to keep out any evidence seized during an improper search. The other option may be used to obtain monetary damages for the violation of rights. Equal protection and the exclusionary rule When a person can show that police subjected him to arrest and search based on his race -- instead of facts that would have lead a reasonable person to conclude that a crime had been committed or was about to be and the suspect was involved -- he may be able to keep evidence gathered in the search out of court.

The mechanism he can use is a motion to suppress, and the legal doctrine on which it is based is called the exclusionary rule. The purpose of the exclusionary rule is to enable courts to bar illegally seized evidence. Under federal law, law enforcement officers and other governmental authorities may not treat people of different races differently.Critical race theorists have applied the concepts of micro-aggressions and macro-aggressions to characterize the racial affronts minorities encounter in the criminal justice system, particularly in the War on Drugs and in the use of racial profiling.

Racial Profiling in Law Enforcement Racial profiling and biased policing in law enforcement in America have psychological effects on both the police and the community.


It affects the way law enforcement does their job, and has psychological impacts . The new Jailer licensing course curriculum () is available arteensevilla.com course replaces course as of January 1, However, you may begin utilizing in your academies as early as October 1, Racial Profiling: Definition"Racial Profiling" refers to 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.

Criminal profiling, generally, as practiced by police, is the reliance on a group of characteristics they believe to be associated with crime. Mar 01,  · Although prior research on racial profiling has consistently reported that minorities are overrepresented among traffic stops compared with the population, published research has been exclusively conducted in either large police departments or state highway patrols.

Twenty states have no laws prohibiting racial profiling by law enforcement, according to an NAACP report released in September. Among states that do, the policies vary widely in implementation and.

Racial profiling in law enforcement essay