Policies Concerning Racial Profiling
Before many policies concerning racial profiling were put in to place, several factors concerning this were actively going on in our country which led to numerous complaints from the communities. One of the most prevalent demonstrations is how police officers frequently profiled certain characteristics of individuals who had a higher tendency to commit crimes. Many of these suspects were profiled due to certain activities witnessed by police officers. At one point of time it was considered legal and even “necessary” by certain courts for officers to carry out such acts (Piquero, A.R., 2009). In the early American history, The Jim Crow South region mandated their police to keep “Negros” in a lower social class amongst the other races (Piquero, A.R., 2009).
Negative Effects on Investigating Crime
Progressively, the perspective of the United States as the ‘Colorblind Nation’ was discredited by the constant news reports concerning the negative impacts of racial profiling. According to researchers Hart, J.L., Larsen, A.M., Litton, K.S., & Sullivan, L.J., The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee received more than 600 reports of badgering or prejudicial threats on American-Arabs since the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. Racial profiling was also utilized by law enforcement to diminish the overwhelming drug trafficking on Interstate 95, amid the 1980s. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles informed officers of the common characteristics of a drug dealer, naming race as one of the contributing factors. Officers would then utilize minor offenses, such as a faulty taillight, as pretext to stop residents who fit the “drug dealer” profile and search for unlawful items such as weapons and drugs.
Many lawmakers during this era even considered it necessary practice to physically punish any minority suspected of any crime who showed any ounce of insubordinate behavior towards the police (Skolnick, J.H., 2007). Skolnick also discusses how this was seen as a method for preventing crime. There was misconception for many years that dealt with law enforcement administrators allowing their officers to unjustly stop and detain certain individuals, as they felt they were taking proactive approaches to fighting crime. Moreover, many departments were unable to have effective working relationships within the minority community. By the act of racially profiling and targeting certain individuals, police were creating a stigma of hate and distrust from certain neighborhoods and it’s residents. This greatly impacted the ability of officers to investigate crime in certain areas as they already established themselves as the enemy to low-income black neighborhoods (use book source).
Prejudice and Discrimination of Minorities
While this may have deterred many minorities from criminal behavior, there was a very strong distrust and hatred towards law enforcement from not just black citizens, but also other minorities. During a 1966 study authorized by the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement, researchers Donald Black and Albert Reiss discovered astounding evidence covering Law Enforcement on a broad spectrum, revealing several instances of prejudice behavior towards black citizens by the police department (Skolnick, J.H., 2007). Thirty-eight percent of these officers showed a definitive action of prejudice, while another thirty-four percent demonstrated a more moderate act of prejudice behavior (Skolnick, J.H., 2007).
Researchers Donald Black and Albert Reiss’s study consisted of an additional thirty-six individuals who witnessed such behavior from police departments in different cities such as Boston, Washington D.C., and also Chicago (Skolnick, J.H., 2007). Commissions against violence and police brutality urged for changes to what police engaged in known as the “stop-and-frisk” procedure. The “stop-and-frisk” procedure is commonly known as a police tactic that was originally developed in New York due to the Terry vs. Ohio case. The “stop-and-frisk” is used as a warrantless search for weapons of an individual in order to provide officer and civilian safety, in addition it should be noted that a “frisk or pat” is only to be conducted on the outside of a person’s clothing. In addition, several police agencies located in urban districts were mandated by both the law and judicial personnel to make changes to their policies and practices (Skolnick, J.H., 2007).
The Black Codes of the Southern locale permitted militiamen to capture and confine blacks whose presence excited suspicion (Staples, R., 2011). The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 undermined both law enforcement authorities and regular citizens with serious fines on the off chance that they neglected to aid the catch of suspected runaway slaves, when the doubt could be founded just on composed cases; moreover, free and oppressed blacks did not have the ability or the right to protect themselves in court against such claims (Staples, R., 2011). Racial profiling at this point had its substructure in the fact that white slave owners wanted to control their purported property (Staples, R., 2011). Going with such enactment, the US Supreme Court acted directly against the legal privileges of blacks and other ethnic gatherings until the 1950s. In 1857, the Dred Scott case decided that dark individuals could be property, not subjects (Staples, R., 2011). That equivalent court baffled congressional endeavors to shield liberated black slaves from white Southern prejudice and violence.
All during the Jim Crow era, the Court allowed laws that basically focused on blacks, such as employment laws that outlawed black men on the off chance that they were “noticed” out and about while unemployed (Staples, R., 2011). While all of this was taking place, other races of minorities have not been protected from police profiling. During the 1940s, the Supreme Court authorized the apprehension of up to one hundred thousand Japanese Americans and confined them in death camps, in spite of them committing no crimes (Staples, R., 2011). Nevertheless, their offense was to be individuals from the same ethnicity as the enemies during World War II. Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 may have diminished the likelihood that entire racial groups could be unconstitutionally punished, Law enforcement officials still possessed the luxury of targeting individuals based on their race (Staples, R., 2011). As a result, the Supreme Court made rulings over previous decades that have dissolved the Fourth Amendment assurances, deciding that police can stop individuals as a result of their enrollment in a specific ethnic gathering, as long as the police give some extra explanation for the stop. Surprisingly, the reasons were only required to be merely suspicious or other abstract proclamations that the courts could not contradict. By these efforts, the Supreme Court maintained the authenticity of possibly bigot suspicions with respect to cops that are generally hard to recognize (Staples, R., 2011).
Why Profiling Should be Eliminated
The Patriot Act, established on October 2001, is the most recent manifestation of lawfully condoned racial profiling. The resolution lifts court restrictions on keeping an eye on religious and political associations; it grants wiretapping, seizure of money related records and correspondence, and unannounced probing of individuals’ property without appropriating reasonable doubt in court (Skolnick, J.H., 2007). During the 1960s in Boston, middle-class whites dissented the racial reconciliation of their government funded schools as strenuously as Southern whites. An educational committee member who encouraged their dissents, Louise Day Hicks, ran for city hall leader of Boston and lost by a small margin. Years later in 1989, a white male named Charles Stuart slaughtered his pregnant spouse and accused an unknown black male. Stuart’s claim caused a racial frenzy, which made the police detain and search numerous young black males during their investigation of the murder. It wasn’t until Stuart’s brother admitted to helping him with concealing the evidence that it was uncovered that Stuart was capable. However, Stuart knew accusing the homicide for a dark outsider would effortlessly be accepted. Stuart’s model echoes the ‘Focal Park Jogger’ case, likewise in 1989, in which four black male youth were incorrectly charged and convicted of sexual assault regardless of conflicting ‘admissions’ under pressure and an absence of physical proof. It wasn’t until later, that DNA evidence confirmed an Afro-Latino man known as Matias Reyes, as the correct perpetrator who was also previously convicted of multiple rape cases and murder. The profiling and framing of black men not only reflected the prejudice of people, yet in addition the eagerness of a white population and criminal justice system to coincide with racial allegations rather than valid reasoning.
The 1991 recorded beating of Rodney King after a rapid pursuit was displayed throughout the world and revealed white police officers ruthlessly beating a defenseless black man. In April 1992, a predominately white rural jury cleared the four cops whose beating of Mr. King had been caught on the camera. The vindication of the officers set off the most outrages riot in U.S. history. Similar to this incident, the 1992 Los Angeles riot looked similar to a riot in Miami-Dade County which took place twelve years prior. Four white officers pursued a black individual known as Arthur McDuffie. McDuffie was a previous U.S. marine and military cop who was riding a motorcycle with multiple traffic tickets and a suspended license. Upon police finally apprehending McDuffie following an eight-minute pursuit, they beat him to death, splitting his skull. Dade County’s Chief medical examiner affirmed that McDuffie’s cerebrum harm was the most exceedingly awful he had witnessed of 3,600 autopsies examined. In spite of implicating testimonies derived from individual officers who were granted immunity, the arraigned officers were cleared on every one of the thirteen counts by an all-white six-man jury three hours of long and careful consideration. With all of this taking place, Blacks were no longer intimidated into compliance. A dissent of around 5,000 developed into a noteworthy uproar that continued over three days. These displays of police brutality provide just a few examples of complex issues in the history of our Country’s criminal justice system, that has more than just built the foundation of many of our Country’s racial profiling policies, but also laws and regulations which many police departments across the country must adhere to. Incidents such as these are strong factors as to why many police departments and places of business are implementing internal policies. To prevent the violation of individual’s rights if they are suspected of committing certain crimes based on race and certain physical characteristics which cannot be chosen by the people. In addition, these departments have inherited such policies in fear of civil litigations of discrimination based on one’s religion, nationality or any other identifying features that diminish the principle human rights and emancipation which the public is entitled to.