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megan's essay on racial profiling

megan's essay on racial profiling



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Published by xtrackandfield11

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Published by: xtrackandfield11 on Mar 28, 2011
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Cole 1Megan ColeMs. BaldiniJunior English 11 Honors28 March 2011All about Why Racial Profiling is BadRacial profiling has raised controversial questions about whether it is a fair concept andwhether it is ethically right to do this to people based on their race. As said in the book Crimesand Criminals Opposing Viewpoints, “racial profiling is any use of race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin by law enforcement agents as a means of deciding who should be investigated,except where these characteristics are part of a specific suspect description” (53). In other wordsracial profiling is singling out a person based on their race and pulling them over for minor offenses to then conduct searches of their vehicles. The police assume that since they are not awhite American that they have drugs or weapons in their cars. The book Criminal JusticeOpposing Viewpoints said that “the concept of racial profiling began in the late 80’s and early90’s” (45). I feel that racial profiling is bad because first of all it is racist. No one should bediscriminated against because of their race and background, and everyone has the right to betreated equally under the law.While there are many ethnic groups involved in racial profiling, a majority of people feelthat racial profiling focuses only on just black people. As stated in the book Criminal JusticeOpposing Viewpoints, “prior to 9/11, African Americans, Native Americans, and Latinos wereoften the targets of police profiling. And since the 9/11 attacks, law enforcement has intensifiedthe profiling and harassment of South Asians, Muslims and Arabs…” (46). This quote showsthat ever since the incident on September 11
, many more ethnic groups, especially Arabs in theMiddle East and not just African Americans, have become subjected to racial profiling because
Cole 2of a few extremists’ actions which make many feel that all people who look like them arecriminals. In addition, other victims of racial profiling, “include Native Americans, AsianAmericans, Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Arab Americans, Iranian Americans,American Muslims, and many immigrants” (Amnesty International USA). This quote shows usthat not only are black people profiled by the police, but many other ethnic groups around theworld are as well. In some circumstances, though rare, White Americans are victims of racialprofiling too. Overall, all types of people in the world are affected by racial profiling in someway or another. Although some are more targeted than others, it does not make a difference onthe fact that it is wrong. No one race is superior to another in the eyes of the law and no oneevent should make one group of people more subjected to being profiled. Race continues to be acontroversy when it comes to law and more specifically laws of motor vehicles.In America whites make up a majority of the population but when it comes to beingpulled over, searched, ticketed, or ultimately arrested, they are subjected to this the least bypolice, percentage wise. In 2002, only 8.7% of white drivers were pulled over out of the 12, 842,254 white drivers on the road. On the other hand, 9.1% of black drivers were pulled over out of the 1, 852, 086 black drivers (Criminal Justice: Opposing Viewpoints). In 2005, another surveywas taken about drivers and percentages comparing white people and drivers of other races. Thepercentage of people likely to be pulled over while driving over the age of 24; blacks: 11.2%,whites 8.9%. When it comes to drivers being stopped for speeding and being ticketed blacks hadthe highest at 75.7%, and whites were only 66.6%. When police were conducting searches for being pulled over in traffic stops for males blacks accounted for 15.9%, Hispanics 14.2%, andwhites only 7.9%. When it comes to drivers being stopped by police and arrested blacksconstitute 5.2%, and whites 2.6%. (Crimes and Criminals: Opposing Viewpoints). According tothe Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), “blacks accounted for 27% of arrests in 2002 even though
Cole 3they were only 13% of the population, and whites and Hispanics were accounted for 71% of arrests but were 81% of the population…blacks were more than twice as likely to be arrested aswhites and Hispanics.” All of these surveys show how other races, especially blacks, are treatedworse and profiled more than white people and that although white people make up most of thepopulation, they are targeted less than any other race by the police. This is not fair, for no onerace should be pulled over more because of their race, and this should be changed, starting withhow police are trained in regards to race and traffic stops.Many police stations have trained their officers to pull over certain people based on their looks. Under Operation Pipeline in 1985, “police were trained to pull people over based on age,race, and targeted black and Hispanic male drivers. The police would pull them over for a trafficviolation as a pretext to see if they have drugs.” Police assume that people of races other thanwhites will have drugs in their car, “even though officers…found more drugs when theysearched whites (17%), then African Americans (8%) of the time”, according to the Departmentof Justice in 1999. In addition, a survey in New Jersey said that, “people of color (are) searchedmore often, but only found drugs in the cars of African Americans 13% of the time and Latinos5% of the time as opposed to whites 25% of the time.” This also proves that drugs are found inthe car of whites more often than any other race, even though people of other races are pulledover purposely to see if they have drugs. This inequality bestowed upon by the police onminority ethnic groups in regards to having to pull people over here in America is unacceptableand thus police training needs to be reformed. Police are not taking the right approach about thisissue and it can have harmful results and “can have devastating and deadly consequencesbecause victims of racial profiling are sometimes further victimized by acts of police violenceand brutality” (Racial Profiling: Seven Facts). There are stories that can prove such brutality andthere needs to be a new protocol in place or else more innocent victims will die.

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