The History Of Racial Profiling Criminology Essay

Racial Profiling refers to the prejudiced pattern by jurisprudence enforcement functionaries who target persons for intuition of condemnable activity based on the persons race, ethnicity, faith or national beginning ( Bernard, 2007 ) . Condemnable profiling, by and large, as practiced by constabulary, is the belief on a group of features they trust to be associated with offense. Situations of racial profiling are the usage of race to find drivers to halt for minor traffic misdemeanors besides referred to as “ driving while black “ , or the usage of race to find which persons to seek for illegal contraband ( Harris, 1999 ) . Racial profiling evidently marks people of colour for probe, insulating communities from jurisprudence enforcement, perplexing community patroling attempts, and doing jurisprudence enforcement to lose unity and trust among the people they are sworn to protect and function ( Lippert-Rasmussen,2006 ) . Any definition of racial profiling must include, prejudiced skips or deficiency of acknowledgment on the portion of jurisprudence enforcement every bit good ( Harris, 1999 ) . As a society, we must be able to trust on the constabulary to protect us from injury and to back up equity and justness in our communities. The scandalous pattern of racial profiling has led infinite people to populate in fright and created a system of jurisprudence enforcement that casts full communities or groups as leery characters. The pattern is shown to transport the jeopardy of bring forthing rights-violations by increasing the happening of racialist attitudes. Racial profiling appears to be ethically more distressing when the racial group that is the object of the profile suffers from favoritism ( Bernard, 2007 ) . This research worker hopes to demo that racial profiling is a terrible job.

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Racial profiling has been portion of the U.S. condemnable justness system since there has been a U.S. condemnable justness system, and portion of North American colonial justness systems in the centuries predating its creative activity ( Velleman, 2001 ) . King Charles I in 1514 commanded that Native Americas submit to Spanish authorization or face persecution. It was one of many colonial Spanish condemnable justness policies, established hypothetically to advance jurisprudence and order in the New World, which used an cultural profiling policy against American Indians ( Glover, 2009 ) . Nat Turner, a spiritual leader and soi-disant Baptist curate, led a rebellion in 1831 in Southampton County, Virginia. Turner and his followings killed about 60 white work forces, adult females, and kids. Afterwards about 250 black slaves were rounded up and killed — 55 executed by the authorities, the remainder lynched — in retribution ( Dale, 2001 ) . Many of the slaves, preponderantly the hanging victims, were selected more or less at random because of their colour, their organic structures mutilated and displayed on fencing stations as a premonition to any slaves who might take to revolt. In Korematsu v. United States 1944, the U.S. Supreme Court held that cultural profiling is non unconstitutional and may be practiced in times of national exigency. The opinion, which defended the nonvoluntary imprisonment of an estimated 110,000 Nipponese Americans on the footing of ethnicity and nationality during World War II, has been bluffly condemned by legal bookmans of all time since ( Lever, 2007 ) .

During the epochs of lynching in the South in the 19th centuries and once more during the civil rights motion, southern sheriffs sat heedlessly by while racialists like the Ku Klux Klan terrorized African Americans. At times, the sheriff ‘s of little southern communities would even let go of black suspects to the lynch rabble ( Lever, 2007 ) . Following September 11th the Bush disposal rounded up an anon. figure of Middle Eastern adult females and work forces on intuition of being linked with terrorist groups. Some were deported ; some were released ; 100s captured overseas remain captive in Guantanamo Bay ( ACLU, 2002 ) . The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868 and states that “ No State shall… Deny to any individual within its legal power the equal protection of the Torahs, ” and entirely would hold made racial profiling illegal. Racial profiling is, by definition, based on a criterion of unequal protection for those that are victims of the prejudiced act ( Bond, 1997 ) .


Harmonizing to the Amnesty International USA survey, Threat and Humiliation: Racial Profiling, Domestic Security, and Human Rights in the United States, many have fallen victim to racial profiling. The undermentioned are merely a few instances mentioned in the above survey.

Mr. Cho was a leading plan counsellor for a group of about 30 high school pupils. The group was composed of persons from Nipponese, Chinese, Korean, Filipino and Vietnamese lineage. In the summer of 2001, as the group walked from their tiffin interruption to an creative persons ‘ event in the Chinatown-

International territory, they were confronted by constabulary. As half of the group waited for a green prosaic visible radiation to fall in the remainder of their party, a constabulary officer yelled through the speaker unit,

Make you cognize how to traverse the street? Do you cognize how to talk English? The last inquiry was repeated four or five times. When one pupil answered, “ Yes, we speak English, ” the officer reportedly searched her in an effort to happen arms.

Santiago Villanueva was from the Dominican Republic, did non talk English, and had dreadlocks ; he besides had epilepsy. He was in Bloomfield, New Jersey when he experienced an epileptic ictus. When constabulary arrived on the scene they saw an African- American adult male with apprehensions prehending on the land and assumed he was on drugs. Military officers harassed Mr. Villanueva and insisted that he speak English. They threw him on the land and one officer put his articulatio genus on Mr. Villanueva ‘s cervix while another placed a articulatio genus on his dorsum. Mr. Villanueva stopped take a breathing and was given O. He reportedly gained consciousness for a short piece and was handcuffed in the ambulance the full manner to the infirmary where he died.

Leonard Mitchel, an Afro-american adult male, was pulled over by constabularies on his manner to work. When asked for his driver ‘s licence, Mr. Mitchel inquired as to why he was pulled over. Upon having no response from the officers, Mr. Mitchel protested about being asked to manus over his I.D. After the constabulary threatened to spray him with Mace, he relinquished his driver ‘s licence. They instantly arrested him for an outstanding seat belt misdemeanor. The constabulary placed Mr. Mitchel, a 500-pound adult male, in two sets of handlocks and ordered him to acquire into the backseat of the constabulary auto. He was charged with defying apprehension because he claimed he would non suit due to his weight. After naming for backup and trying to physically coerce Mr. Mitchel into the backseat, the officers eventually placed him in the front place. He describes his experience,

They holler at the auto, n- [ N word ] acquire your a- [ lewdness ] in the auto. . . . So they came out. . . threw me on the goon, said, you ‘re traveling to acquire in this back place. I said, sir, I do n’t care approximately traveling to imprison. . . but I ca n’t suit in the back place.

Mr. Mitchel spent two yearss in gaol and was told he was being charged with defying apprehension and failure to supply designation. ( Amnesty International USA, 2004 )

Approximately 32 million Americans study they have been victims of racial profiling. Despite the prevalence and serious nature of the job, no legal power in the U.S. has addressed the job in a manner that is both effectual and across-the-board ( Johnson, 1995 ) . The hurts caused by racial profiling are suffered irrespective of whether the individual singled out is really engaged in condemnable activity. Twenty- nine provinces have passed Torahs refering racial profiling, province and federal protections against this job, but when will the others follow ( Bradford, Jackson, and Stanko. 2009 ) .

Future and Solutions

Racial profiling continues to be a common signifier of favoritism in the United States. Since September 11, 2001, new signifiers of racial profiling have affected a turning figure of people in the U.S. , including members of Muslim and Arab communities ( ACLU, 2002 ) . The Obama disposal was given a dishonourable system of racial profiling and a tarnished list of plans that treat Arabs and Muslims as suspects and denies them the given of artlessness and equal protection under the jurisprudence. Equally disturbing has been the federal authorities ‘s encouragement of alone foraies of immigrant ( peculiarly Latino ) communities and workplaces by local jurisprudence enforcement in cooperation with federal bureaus ( ACLU, 2002 ) . These policies have unreasonably expanded the diminished trust in jurisprudence enforcement, separated immigrant communities, and created an ambiance of uneasiness towards anti-immigrant looks and have led to a dramatic addition in hate offenses against and racial profiling of Latinos ( ACLU, 2011 ) . In December 2011, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act ( NDAA ) , codifying or set uping and labeling a system of Torahs, that allows indefinite military detainment without charge or test into jurisprudence for the first clip in American history. The NDAA ‘s unsafe detainment commissariats would authorise the president to order the armed forces to pick up and indefinitely hold people captured anyplace in the universe, far from any battleground ( ACLU, 2011 ) . These policies and patterns will go on to bring forth desolation on persons, households and communities, rupturing them apart through indefensible detainments, exiles, foraies and more.

For local jurisprudence enforcement the solution will come on when processs for having, look intoing and reacting to racial profiling ailments are established. Making disciplinary steps for officers firm and staying to prosecute in profiling, is another solution based step. The concluding portion to the reply, for jurisprudence enforcement, is to maintain path of racial profiling, offer civilization competence preparation and purchase supervising equipment such as picture cameras for constabulary vehicles. These are merely a few steps that can go on locally by morally considerate functionaries that want to halt this signifier of subjugation. Until a voice is given to this societal issue and heard by the multitudes, nil can be done to halt it.

Social Theory

Robert K. Merton developed the strain theory that explained aberrance within society as a consequence of the civilization and construction of society itself. His theory is based on the thought that all members of society portion common values and ends. Certain values and ends wanted by many in mainstream society are place ownership, having athleticss autos, and taking expensive holidaies to call a few. However, because non all members in society occupy the same economic or societal place, they do non wholly have an indistinguishable opportunity to recognize those ends. Merton states that with this theory there are victors and also-rans. The basic statement is that the force per unit area to accomplish mainstream success sharply pushes persons to prosecute in condemnable activity and therefore is the cause of aberrant behaviour. In other words, American society generates a desire for stuff ownerships, particularly because success is measured by the accomplishment or addition of such ownerships ( Bernard, 2007 ) . In this mercenary society, those who can non win by lawful agencies will fall back to conniving agencies to make so. While many believe that this theory helps back up the demand for racial profiling, this research worker does non hold. Many that have immigrated to the United States and started life here with nil have non committed offenses to derive wealth. Many low income or poorness afflicted African Americans have non broken the jurisprudence to derive ownerships. So for jurisprudence enforcement to group persons as to race and socioeconomic position entirely for intents of the possibility of halting condemnable activity is uneducated and farther stereotyping at its worst.

This research worker feels that the theory that explains racial profiling the best is Social Identity theory. Social individuality theory maintains that group rank serves to beef up and reenforce self-esteem, and therefore, persons have a ground to prefer the in-group ( their ain ) over others ( Tajfel & A ; Turner, 1986 ) . In kernel, people create positive societal individualities that are linked to group rank. As a consequence of these individualities, people tend to see their ain societal groups more positively than other groups or races. When societal individualities centre on race and ethnicity, the consequence can be negative and racial stereotypes are so reinforced by group beliefs and interactions. Research suggests that racial individuality gets formed and reinforced through contact and interactions with others – in-group and out-group members. What is learned from the in-group and what is experienced from out-group fundamentally shapes racial individuality ( Warren and Tomaskovic-Devey, 2009 ) . When a bulk of jurisprudence enforcement is seen as upper category Caucasic males, than utilizing this theory easy explains the stereotyping and profiling can take topographic point. The Acts of the Apostless of blowing up and take downing others serve to heighten the culprits ‘ self-pride and modulate their sense of dignity.

The pattern of racial profiling has no topographic point in jurisprudence enforcement. It is an activity that destroys the populace trust which is important for an effectual policing organisation. Police must be seen as both suppliers of public safety and respectful to the rights of those they have sworn to protect and function. While a bulk of constabularies officers may function their communities in a professional and ethical mode, the argument over the genuineness of racial profiling as a pattern in jurisprudence enforcement is loudest on the side of its continuance on a national degree. All jurisprudence enforcement functionaries must handle all persons, irrespective of their in-migration position, race, or economic position the same. During the class of all jurisprudence enforcement proceedings, professional translators must be provided for those who do non talk English. Everyone ‘s civil autonomies have to be kept sacred and secure for our society to work as a cohesive unit.


American Civil Liberties Union. 2002. Collar the racism: Racial profiling in

America. Retrieved October 12, 2012, from hypertext transfer protocol: // index.html

American Civil Liberties Union. ( 2011 ) . Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //

Amnesty International USA. ( 2004, October ) . Menace and humiliation: Racial profiling, domestic security, and human rights in the United States. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //

Bernard, Harcourt. 2007. Against anticipation: Profiling, policing, and penalizing in an actuarial age. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Chemical bond, James E. 1997. No Easy Walk to Freedom: Reconstruction and the Ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment. Westport, Conn. : Praeger.

Bradford, Ben, Jonathan Jackson, and Elizabeth A. Stanko. 2009. Contact and assurance: Revisiting the impact of public brushs with the constabulary. Patroling and Society 19 ( 1 ) : 20-46.

Charles V. Dale. 2001. “ Congressional Research Service Edition ” . Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress.

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Harris, David. 1999. The narratives, the statistics, and the jurisprudence: Why ‘driving while black ‘ affairs. Minnesota Law Review 84: 265-326.

Johnson, E.L. 1995. A threat to society: The usage of condemnable profiles and its effects on black males. Howard Law Journal 38 ( 3 ) : 629-674.

Lever, Annabelle. 2007. What ‘s incorrect with racial profiling? Another expression at the job. Criminal Justice Ethics26: 20-28.

Lippert-Rasmussen, Kasper. 2006. Racial profiling versus community. Journal of Applied Philosophy23: 191-205.

Tajfel, H. and Turner, J. C. ( 1986 ) . The societal individuality theory of inter-group behaviour. Psychology of Intergroup Relations. Chicago: Nelson-Hall

A Velleman, J. David. 2001. The generation of shame. Philosophy & A ; Public Affairs 30: 27-52.

Warren, Patricia Y. and Donald Tomaskovic-Devey. 2009. Racial profiling and hunts: Did the political relations of racial profiling alteration constabulary behaviour? Criminology and Public Policy 8: 343-369.


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