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An Argument Against Racial Profiling By Police

1612 words - 6 pages

Racial profiling in the dictionary is “the assumption of criminality among ethnic groups: the alleged policy of some police to attribute criminal intentions to members of some ethnic groups and to stop and question them in disproportionate numbers without probable cause (“Racial Profiling”).” In other words racial profiling is making assumptions that certain individuals are more likely to be involved in misconduct or criminal activity based on that individual’s race or ethnicity. Racial profiling propels a brutalizing message to citizens of the United States that they are pre-judged by the color of their skin rather than who they are and this then leads to assumptions of ruthlessness inside the American criminal justice system. With race-based assumptions in the law enforcement system a “lose-lose” situation is created due to America’s diverse democracy and destroys the ability to keep the criminal justice system just and fair. Although most police officers perform their duties with fairness, honor, and dedication, the few officers who portray to be biased then harm the whole justice system resulting in the general public stereotyping every law enforcement officer as a racial profiler (Fact Sheet Racial Profiling). When thinking about racial profiling many people automatically think it happens only to blacks but sadly this is mistaken for far more ethnic groups and races such as Jews, Muslims, Mexicans, Native Americans, and many more are racially profiled on a day to day basis. Many people believe racial profiling to be a myth because they see it as police officers merely taking precautions of preventing a crime before it happens, but in reality racial profiling has just become an approved term for discrimination and unjust actions against people of different ethnicity or race.
African Americans are the most racially profiled group in many areas of American life today according to statistics. In 2005 blacks (4.5%) were twice as likely to be arrested in traffic stops compared to whites (2.1%), when both races committed the same traffic violation and responded to the authorities in the same ways. Black motorist (9.5%) were more likely to be searched than any other race, especially white motorists (3.6%) according to a 2002 study, and although more black motorist were searched than any other race they were found to be least guilty of transporting drugs, guns, or other contrabands, while whites were found guilty more of transporting contraband items (The Reality of Racial Profiling). Not only are blacks racially profiled as motorists, they are also profiled as pedestrians especially since many local “clean-up the streets” movements have begun. Police now have the authority to fine people who sag their pants or wear unreasonable baggy clothing, and by doing this police are fining people, who are usually black, for their preference in clothing. There are many cases where police have stopped blacks walking around stores or airports and request for...

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