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Racial Profiling By Police Is Ineffective And Reduces Public Safety

1189 words - 5 pages

September 11, 2001, was a very tragic day for many people living in the United States. Millions of people were affected by the terrorist attacks. Since then airport security has changed as well as police techniques. When police are at work they use many techniques to decrease their suspect pools. Racial profiling is the most common technique used. The dictionary definition for racial profiling is “the use of race or ethnicity as grounds for suspecting someone of having committed an offense.” This is the most controversial technique that our government uses today. Minorities are the most affected, being mistaken for a criminal because a person “fits the profile”, a common scenario in the United States. The issue with racial profiling is determining if it helps prevent crime or if it just violates citizens’ rights.
The term “profiling” started being used in the late 70’s; it was associated with a method of interdiction drug traffickers. The DEA or Drug Enforcement Administration, created operation pipeline in 1985. Operation Pipeline was an intelligence based assessment of the methods drug networks transported drugs to drug markets. In order for the operation to be successful the DEA trained local and state police in applying a drug profile as a part of highway drug interdiction techniques. As time went by the profiling technique was distorted, so that officers began targeting black and Hispanic male drivers. They would pull them over for technical traffic violations, only as an excuse to check whether the drivers were carrying drugs. No awareness was raised over the issue until 1998, where the U.S. Department of Justice investigated the activities of the New Jersey State Police and defined racial profiling as “the practice of singling out a member of racial or ethnic groups for minor traffic or petty criminal offenses in order to question and or search them for drugs, guns, or other contraband.” After the investigation, the medial exploded with coverage of the problem of racial profiling (Gene & Anderson, 2001). According to Gallop Poll on December 9, 1999, 81 percent of those polled disapproved of the practice.
Racial profiling in many cases has altered lives and destroyed families. Racial profiling is one reason why many African American and other minorities sit in prisons across the nation. Many of these people were guilty until proven innocent, instead of the other way around. For example Cornelius Dupree Jr. was a Texas man who was accused of rape. Court documents stated that a 26 year old woman and a male friend were robbed at gunpoint by two black men in the parking lot of a Dallas liquor store in November 1979. The two men ordered the couple to drive, they forced the man out of the car and took the women to a nearby park where they raped her and stole her fur coat. Cornelius Dupree and another man Anthony Massigill were arrested in December 1979, after the lady picked their photos out of a photo lineup. Both men had no clue who the...

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