Racial Profiling: Driving While Black Is A Real Offense In America

1375 words - 6 pages

“In recent years, scores of African Americans and Latinos, including prominent athletes, members of Congress, actors, lawyers, business leaders and even police officers, have experienced the humiliation of being stopped on the nation’s highways upon suspicion of a crime. Few white motorists can tell the same story.” (Bouie 2014). Most colored motorists have had this feeling at least once while driving. The article, "It's Been Proven: "Driving While Black" is a Real Thing" takes a look at incidents around the United States where the multitude of racial stops have been questioned. They explore three sides of the “driving while black” issue: whites who feel they have never experienced this or were let off for not being colored, blacks who feel they have been discriminated against, and cops defending the force and believing this does not happen.
Many State Troopers were being investigated for a variety of discriminatory stops. An attorney, William Merton, has been a part of the investigation of the troopers and found some very interesting information. A man named John Mean was pulled over by the troopers, where he was driving the same speed as the cars around him and he was pulled over. He then was threatened, with the probability of a search warrant, to give up his privacy rights and be searched. His car was then searched and he was release with a warning, twenty-five minutes later. This incident, like many others, was not reported, which shows a suspicion in the data collected from the department (Bouie 2014).
Through a debate with Christopher A. Darden, an Associate Professor of Law at Southwestern School of Law in Los Angeles and Byron Warnken, a Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law, they explore both sides of the circumstance. One stood for the idea that this phenomenon was real and the other stood for the idea that this is not as popular as people suggest.
State Troopers of various states have been examined for a long time now. In 1993, Robert Wilkins, an attorney, was pulled over for no apparent reason and a lawsuit was posed against them. Even after settling that case, in 1998, more investigation was done on the continuing discrimination on the road (Driving While Black 1999). Multiple acts were passed and cases reconsidered to change the methods of the State Troopers. The issue with DWB is that it is hard to determine which events are actually discriminatory versus those that just so happened to include minorities.
From my own personal perspective, I must agree that this phenomenon is real. Police discretion is one of the biggest aspects of the career discussed with those joining the force. The possibility of police corruption is far greater in the field work as opposed to areas where they do more office work or investigation. As discussed by Rich Martin, a New Jersey police officer and criminal justice professor at West Chester University, police corruption can start at low levels such as...

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