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Police Profiling Essay

2865 words - 11 pages

I. Policy and PurposeThis Racial Profiling Policy is adopted in compliance with the requirements of Articles 2.131 through 2.136, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, which prohibits Texas peace officers from engaging in racial profiling.Officers shall conduct themselves in a dignified and respectful manner at all times when dealing with the public. Two of the fundamental rights guaranteed by both the United States and Texas constitutions are equal protection under the law and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures by government agents. The right of all persons to be treated equally and to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures must be respected. Racial profiling is an unacceptable patrol tactic and will not be condoned.This policy shall not preclude officers from offering assistance, such as upon observing a substance leaking from a vehicle, a flat tire, or someone who appears to be ill, lost or confused. Nor does this policy prohibit stopping someone suspected of a crime based upon observed actions and/or information received about the person.II. DefinitionsRacial Profiling - A law enforcement-initiated action based on an individual's race, ethnicity, or national origin rather than on the individual's behavior or on information identifying the individuals as having engaged in criminal activity.Racial profiling pertains to persons who are viewed as suspects or potential suspects of criminal behavior. The term is not relevant as it pertains to witnesses, complainants or other citizen contacts.The prohibition against racial profiling does not preclude the use of race, ethnicity or national origin as factors in a detention decision when used as part of an actual description of a specific suspect for whom an officer is searching. Detaining an individual and conducting an inquiry into that person's activities simply because of that individual's race, ethnicity or national origin is racial profiling. Examples of racial profiling include but are not limited to the following:Citing a driver who is speeding in a stream of traffic where most other drivers are speeding because of the cited driver's race, ethnicity or national origin.Detaining the driver of a vehicle based on the determination that a person of that race, ethnicity or national origin is unlikely to own or possess that specific make or model of vehicle.Detaining an individual based upon the determination that a person of that race, ethnicity or national origin does not belong in a specific part of town or a specific place.A law enforcement agency can derive at two principles from the adoption of this definition of racial profiling.Police may not use racial or ethnic stereotypes as factors in selecting whom to stop and search, while police may use race in conjunction with other known factors of the suspect.Law enforcement officers may use racial or ethnic stereotypes as factors in selecting whom to stop and search. Racial profiling is not relevant as it pertains to witnesses,...

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