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Racial Profiling By Police Is Not Justified

4309 words - 17 pages

Even the United States struggles with issues of racial discrimination despite being a society highly based on immigrants and multicultural diversity. On one hand, people frown on treatment based on race, whether that is on an individual or group level. On the other, people are tired and annoyed by the seemingly constant call of discrimination. All of these feelings culminate into the debate pertaining to the use of racial profiling. Likewise, there are some individuals that hold a certain level of acceptance in regard to racial profiling. However, what is lost in the process because of that acceptance? There are many components that need to be thought about in reference to the use of racial profiling. In addition, it can be viewed from varying perspectives, such as through the use of statistics, by looking at social norms and taking into account moral/ethical values. Although racial profiling has been denounced, its use has continued to come up repeatedly. Furthermore, it is very apparent that certain circumstances cause the use concept of racial profiling to resurface.
In a sense, racial profiling makes it so that an individual is guilty just because of their race. To better understand what that statement means it is important to first define what racial profiling is in more detail. Racial profiling is "police action based on a person’s race, ethnicity, or national origin, rather than on the behavior of the person or information about the person’s criminal activity" (Conklin, 2007). This definition clearly establishes why people believe that racial profiling is discriminatory because it is nothing less than discrimination. The idea of basing suspicion solely on race is mind-boggling because there are so many other elements that would help law enforcement take action against crime. Despite this fact, racial profiling has been used time and time again. In relation to the debate of ‘racial profiling,’ Taylor and Whitney define racial profiling as “the practice of questioning blacks in disproportionate numbers in expectation that they are more likely than people of other races to be criminals” (Taylor & Whitney, 2002). Statistics show that African-Americans and Hispanics commit more crime than Caucasians, with 90% of the 1.7 million interracial crimes stemming from the hands of African-American men. Even looking at these numbers, does that make it okay for the police to arrest and interrogate these racial minorities at such a high frequency? Where are these statistics coming from? How accurate are they? Does the media provide a skewed analysis of these findings? These are the types of questions that need to be addressed in regard to evaluating the validity of racial profiling.
The annual National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) has been the primary method for gathering data and providing these staggering statistics. The NCVS provides information gathered from the victim, which includes information on crimes that went...

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