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Racial Profiling

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Just what is racial profiling? Racial profiling occurs when the police target someone for investigation on the basis of that person’s race, national origin, or ethnicity (www.washington.com). Examples are the use of race to determine which drivers to stop for minor traffic violations and the use of race to determine which motorists or pedestrian to search for contraband. Universally attested and detested, racial profiling is a widespread police tactic. Although blacks and foreigners experience different forms of racial profiling, they both share many similarities.

Blacks have been the main suspects of racial profiling. Tens of thousands of black motorist on highways across the country are victims of racial profiling. Black drivers account for 26.2 percent of stops resulting from the use of radar or laser devices for from red-light violations; however, they only make up 15.1 percent of the country’s population. Today, skin color makes you a suspect in America. It makes you more likely to be searched and more likely to be arrested and imprisoned. In Montgomery, black drivers were stopped with a disproportionate rate when compared with the number of blacks in the county(www.washington.com). Police Chief Charles A. Moose said at a news conference that he thinks black drivers are being stopped at a fair rate. Racial profiling is prevalent in America. Despite the civil rights victories of 30 years ago, official racial prejudice still reflects throughout the criminal justice system.

Not only blacks, but foreigners too have become victims of racial profiling.

According to police, about 460 American Indians in Montgomery were stopped, however, there are only 2,500 in the county(www.washington.com). Another foreign group that has been targeted is Hispanics. Hispanic drivers received a significantly higher number of equipment repair orders, civil and criminal citations, and arrests. However, driving is not the only area where foreigners have been targeted for racial profiling. Since September 11, investigators have been trying to comprehend the ongoing threat of terrorist attacks. As a result a large number of Middle Eastern men have been imprisoned. There are 1,147 detainees being held on account of these attacksOf the 1,147, Justice officials have specially singled out only 185 detainees who are being held on immigration charges(www.washington.com). The government is using every legal tool to hold the detainees as long as possible. All detainees have been given due process and none have been accused of an act of terrorism. Only three of the men have been charged in the plot of the hijacking. The United States are, by any means necessary, trying to put an end to the terrorist acts.

Both blacks and foreigners have experienced a great deal of racial profiling, however, most of the concern is going towards the blacks. The reasons black and Hispanic drivers were stopped and the treatment they received were also strikingly different from those in stops of white drivers. Blacks and Hispanics were less likely to be stopped when radar surveillance or red-light violations were involved(www.washington.com). In attempt to slow down racial discrimination on the roads, police began to document every traffic stop they made. When the numbers were entered into the tallying computers, the number of entries made were about 659,000 short from the number or citations issued (www.washington.com). A more than likely explanation is that the officers are not filling out the forms. The officers couldn’t be trusted to log the correct information on the forms. This program is unacceptable and inaccurate being that the data was collected improperly. Similarly, to control the racial profile of foreigners, the national government thought of providing national ID cards. This plan too would do little to combat terrorism or reduce profiling. First, the cards would not identify terrorists. Secondly, they wouldn’t allow the U.S. to track them after they have entered into the country. These cards would only bring about more discrimination and harassment.

In conclusion, blacks and foreigners both share some of the same problems when it comes to racial profiling. As far as driving, blacks and other minorities should do all they can to stop racial profiling and let their community officers know that it will not be tolerated. But as far as racial profiling against foreigners to protect the United States of America, I think that the government should go as far as possible in catching these suspected terrorists because we’ll never know when they will strike again.

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