Racial Profiling Essay
Racial profiling is a big issue. Many people have been victimized because of cops and other high authorities’ senseless attitudes on how to handle the law. What people have to realize is that racial profiling does happen to innocent people who are mostly targeted or pursued because of their race or sometimes even because of their religion. These things can also cause citizens to become very angry and unwilling to cooperate with law enforcement. Racial profiling has been the cause of many outbreaks of riots.
There has even been many riots because of innocent people being racial profiled against; causing citizens to become antagonistic, bitter, and hateful towards the law. This can be a problem because they even target good police. The cause of racial profiling can start not only hostile attitudes, but a shift in the views of how police treat citizens. Racial profiling is a method that police and other law enforcement agents use to catch someone who has committed a crime or is about to commit one. It is a controversial method. In fact, even the meaning of racial profiling is controversial” (Kops, Pg. 9).
Racial profiling is a very controversial topic, because this topic makes people uneasy to talk about. It’s especially hard for victims who have been racial profiled against because of the memory of their terrible experience. “In 1942, over 120,000 American were stripped of their business and their homes and incarcerated for the duration of World War II. They had committed no offense. They were convicted of no crime. They were suspected, subjected to curfews, arrested, had their property confiscated, and finally imprisoned because of the color of their skin and their national origin or the national origin of their parents” (Meeks, Pg. ).
Situations like this can cause a shift in the government where they have constant issues on how to approach citizens because of the fear of being accused of discriminating against people. This sometimes has citizens wondering is it okay for police to check you if they “think” you are committing a crime? Well there have been mixed answers when the law is confronted with this question. Also this can cause tension between cops and the law enforcement because of all the animosity and stress of being constantly accused of racial profiling. There have been retired cops who have written books talking about their experience as a cop.
Some give details that outsiders wouldn’t know about the cop’s secret jobs. Is it possible that good police are afraid? This could be the reason why; they could also be afraid that if they tell too much they could possibly lose their job. But just as there are good cops, there are also bad cops. Like the ones who harass people for no reason; simply because of the physical features. “An officer’s daily duties require them to violate the rights of others, without question, on a repeated basis (see video – 2min in). Police routinely fine or jail, at taxpayer expense, people whose crimes lack an actual victim.
Whether it is for driving without a license, disorderly conduct or illegal drugs, police are the ones enforcing such laws. More surprisingly is it seems they do so only because they are told to, and believe such violations are acceptable to keep others safe (this doesn’t even include officers who blatantly and knowingly abuse their power)” (Freeman). Is it a thing of giving law enforcement too much power? Many people have many complaints that the law has access to how they suspect if the person is in the wrong. This is a prime example of why there can be a separation between cops.
However, often many good cops are targeted for a crooked cop’s bad deed. With this happening it scares away potential cops; who are afraid of this horrible thing happening to them, which has citizens and other authorities on edge. The lack of law enforcement would be a huge problem; without the law the crime rate could possibly reach an ultimate high. Law enforcement is supposed to be put in place as a security, and protection for citizens. But how can you trust them when they also commit crimes. It makes it even harder for citizens to report a crime because they are afraid of what might happen to them.
Bad cops are considering somewhat professionals at pulling big schemes. They can pull off these schemes because of the connections they have with even high authorities. Some schemes could be tied to drug trafficking and many other things. But are once they are accused of such heinous crime, why are these issues sometimes forgotten about? It’s like the process of prosecuting these police are constantly kept quiet. Well it’s about time that it’s brought public. “Negative stereotypical biases of African-American males overshadow any appearances that they are law-abiding citizens.
Indeed, in the eyes of many law enforcement officers, an African-American male driving a Mercedes-Benz projects the presumption of illegal activity, not the presumption of a hard working citizen” (Weatherspoon). Keeping these things private can cause more attention to what are they really doing. But no one is taking a stand and asking questions; simply because of fear of becoming a target of the police. “The term driving while black has been used to describe the practice of law enforcement officials to stop African-American drivers without probable cause.
The practice particularly targets African-American males. African-American males are not only singled out while driving, but also while schooling, eating, running for political office, walking, banking, serving as a juror, getting a taxi, shopping, and just being black and a male. The mere fact of being black and male in America is sufficient cause for governmental and private law enforcement officials to abridge the rights of African-American males. This is not to suggest that law enforcement officers can never consider race when performing their job” (Weatherspoon).
African American males are not the only people who are targeted. For example, during the Holocaust Jews were killed, beaten, starved, and a lot of other horrific things all because of their religion and race. “The European Holocaust of the 1930s and 1940s, which cost millions of Jews (and other ethnic groups) their lives, led many Jews and non- Jews alike throughout the world to believe that a Jewish homeland was necessary. During and after World War II, many Jewish refugees found themselves without a nation and with nowhere to go” (Jones, Johnstone, Pg. 358). Racial profiling seems to never have an end.
Many cases you hear about how racial profiling still exists ‘til this very day. The question that everyone should be asking is, “why should a person race, religion, or beliefs determine how they are judged? “Racial profiling is an abusive practice that targets innocent citizens solely because of the way that they look. It is not an effective law enforcement strategy. Research shows that racial profiling diverts officers’ attention from using actual, objective signs of suspicious behavior to effectively assess situations. Racial profiling erodes trust between law enforcement and its community.
As a result, people are less likely to report a crime or work with the police to give information that could apprehend an actual criminal” (Elliot). This statement is true; racial profiling really is not a strategic method. Since this method has been put in place it has done nothing but cause an upset to the community. Communities have had negative feelings towards racial profiling. So why is this still a method? No one seems to ask this important question that could change the law enforcement system. Changing the system could make a better relationship between citizens and law enforcement.
Because more citizens may be willing to open up more to the law, without feeling like they can’t trust police. Before this solution could be an option the law enforcement should make an extra effort with making sure that the community knows that they can trust they are truly secured. “While there have been attempts to end racial profiling in Congress, no bill has successfully been passed. Communities across the country have been subjected to this useless, degrading tactic for too long. Now is the time for Congress to reintroduce and pass comprehensive legislature to end racial profiling” (Elliot).
Congress has yet to make any decisions about eliminating racial profiling. But that doesn’t mean that change won’t happen. Racial profiling as stated in within this research paper is a very controversial topic, but it also a sad topic. The way a person can be mistreated just because of the color of their skin. When reading the facts about racial profiling it is saddening to know that a person can be humiliated and tortured over nothing. Victims of racial profiling are caught off guard, because they have no clue of why they have become a target.
Some people are targeted because of their religion; for example a Muslim lady could become a target of racial profiling because of her head wrapped. Muslims have became targets ever since the 9/11 incident. “Since September 11, 2001, members of Arab, Muslim, and South Asian communities have increasingly been searched, interrogated and detained in the name of “national security”, often times labeled “terrorism suspects” when in reality many were only charged with misdemeanors or minor immigration violations, if they were charged at all” (Racial Profiling: Face the Truth Campaign).
African-American males are also targeted, because of how they present themselves. This can make some African- American males uneasy to go out in public, because of the fear of being watched and seen for the clothes they wear. “As a result, community members become less likely to assist with criminal investigations or seek protection from police when they themselves are victimized, which makes everyone less safe” (Racial Profiling: Face the Truth Campaign). Communities are now starting to stick together, by not helping the police. Some feel that they should not help the police when the police attack innocent people.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 6 October 2016
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