An Essay On The Reasons To Stop The Use Of Racial Profiling.

1431 words - 6 pages

Stereotyping and discrimination based simply on a difference in race are two things which are continually discouraged and condemned throughout our legal system, yet are promoted by even the Supreme Court when used by law enforcement in the practice of racial profiling. Police officers nationwide badger pedestrians, make traffic stops, and unjustly search citizens daily sometimes with their only reason being the color of the person's skin. It is this practice, racial profiling, which encourages law enforcement officials to discriminate against the very citizens they are hired to protect and to be suspicious of all people that might fit the "drug courier" profile. Basically, when applied to the police's practice or racial profiling, this means that suspicious people are either black or Hispanic. Racial profiling does more harm daily than is worth the handful of justified arrests it leads to. The nationwide victimization it creates, the ways in which police abuse its application, and the general racial ignorance it uses as its basis make racial profiling an unjustified method of law enforcement. Racial profiling, though permitted by the Supreme Court and lawmakers, must be stopped before it is taken any further than it already has been.Racial profiling is not just a problem in the minority neighborhoods of New York City, Chicago, or Los Angeles, but rather is a disease that is plaguing our entire nation. Blacks and other minorities, joined by white activists, have been decrying the situation for many years, but have just now begun to be acknowledged as lawsuits are brought against police departments and dragged through the appellate court system, including the Supreme Court. Though some victims of racial profiling may win monetary settlements from these lawsuits, the courts still affirm and justify the use of the discriminatory practice.The statistics of racial profiling across the nation are astonishing. In the 1999 Report Crises of the Anti-Drug Effort, Chad Thevenot of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation records that "76 percent of the motorists stopped along a 50-mile stretch of I-95 by Maryland's Special Traffic Interdiction Force (STIF) were black." This number is quite disparaging when Thevenot informs that "Blacks constitute 25 percent of Maryland's population, and 20 percent of Marylanders with driver's licenses." Also, according to an Associated Press computer analysis of car searches between January and September of 1995, and as testified by a state police official, 94 percent of motorists stopped in New Jersey were black. The 2000 census reveals that only 13.6 percent of New Jersey's population is African-American. Reported racial profiling incidents by those that are victims to it often include police detaining them for over an hour on the side of the road, the dismantling of their vehicle looking for drugs, and physical and verbal abuse by the officers. Also, incidents in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Alabama have ended in...

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