Racial Profiling By Police Essay

1341 words - 5 pages

 
There are many types of racism in America that cause people to make accusations against law enforcement for discrimination. One type of racism is racial profiling. It is a strategy that encourages police officers to stop and question minorities only because of their race. It takes place in a variety of routine police encounters. Unmotivated searches occur everyday among the minority groups. Could you imagine waking up and being scared to walk outside your house because of the color of your skin? This is a fear of almost everyone belonging to a minority group. This continues to be a widespread problem throughout the country.

This type of racism is a fairly new system that police began to use in the times of segregation. It was a way that police were able to harass minorities and others to create an excuse for arresting people. They would make false statements about people that they arrested and often planted evidence such as weapons or drugs on their suspects. Many police officers do not pay attention to how educated you are; they only look at the color of your skin and the kind of car you are driving in some cases. As a result of this they automatically assume that you are doing something with bad intentions.

Racial profiling was fueled by the "War on Drugs"(Graham 3). It took off in the 1980's when they exposed the explosion of crack cocaine in inner city neighborhoods. This encouraged the view of drugs as a black problem. Despite the civil rights victories of thirty years ago, racial prejudice is still reflected throughout the criminal justice system. Police started using this racism to clear neighborhoods of drug related offenses caused by African-Americans. The use of race to determine which drivers to stop is referred to as "driving while black"(Graham 26). Today skin color makes you a suspect in America. You are more likely to be stopped, searched, arrested, or imprisoned if you are a minority. Discriminatory police stops have reached great extent in recent years.

Media tends to cover police racial profiling although they have failed to recognize their own practice of media racial profiling. Racial profiles projected are indirectly related to punitive public policies giving the mainstream news media the 'out' of deniability (Eisenstein and Jacob 30). Media tends to over-represent the number of black people in the issue and becomes black stigmatized and is further racialized (Eisenstein and Jacob 30). A study was done by Physician Leadership on National Drug Policy. It showed drug addicts are not primarily members of minority racial and ethnic groups and Caucasians are more likely to be addicted (Graham 62). These findings were never covered by Time, U.S. News and World Report, and Newsweek. News media plays a major role in promoting racial stereotypes.

Driving a car, walking down the street, or even sightseeing now is no longer safe for some people. In many cities across the United...

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