A Justification Paper For The Use Of Racial Profiling

1348 words - 6 pages

Racial profiling, the police practice of stopping and searching of blacks because of their race, in the course of drug-interdiction efforts and combating crime, has become one of the most highly-charged racial issues in America. However, this issue that divides our nation along black and white lines, should not be an issue at all. Racial profiling is nothing more than a sensible police technique where police employ the laws of probability to make the best use of their scarce resources in attacking crime. The trafficking of drugs and weapons, and the effects these items have on the communities they end up in, has become a problem that plagues the nation as a whole. It is for this reason, and ...view middle of the document...

Instead, as shown through the Drug Enforcement Agency's instructions to law enforcement officials, police are taught some common identifying signs of drug couriers: "nervousness; conflicting information about origin and destination cities among vehicle occupants; no luggage for a long trip; lots of cash; lack of a driver's license or insurance; the spare tire in the back seat; rental license plates or plates from key source states like Arizona and New Mexico; loose screws or scratches near a vehicle's hollow spaces, which can be converted to hiding places for drugs and guns," (Mac Donald).It is also partially due to the formal practice of racial profiling in police departments that has caused the reduction of crime by 20 percent in the past five years, (Goldberg 56). While many people assail statistics that show African-Americans and Hispanics as the highest incident groups of drug and drug related crimes, the evidence supports that claim. Clayton Searle, president of the International Narcotics Interdiction Association, proved this in the 1999 report Profiling in Law Enforcement. In it, Searle states as his conclusion that "Those who purport to be shocked that ethnic groups are overrepresented in the population arrested for drug courier activities must have been in a coma for the last twenty years. The fact is that ethnic groups control the majority of the drug trade in the United States. They also tend to hire as their underlings and couriers others of their same group." Police are bombarded everyday with demands to "clean-up the streets." In a series of February, 2001 meetings between New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, police precincts, and Harlem residents, the communities were outraged that officers weren't doing more to take drugs and drug dealers off street corners and out of their lives so that they could maintain a respectable quality of life. However, when police use proven statistics and probabilities to their advantage, the same group of people cry racism and claim discrimination.While detractors continue to decry racial profiling with tales "from the victims," these tales often leave out pertinent information that discredits their claim. One instance that started the upswing in racial profiling reports in the media, and has made the officers involved poster boys for racial profiling lobbies, is the April 1998 incident on the New Jersey Turnpike. Two officers, James Kenna and John Hogan, pulled over a van going 74 miles-per-hour in a 55 mile-per-hour zone. When the officers approached the vehicle on foot, the van backed toward them, knocking one trooper down, hitting the patrol car, and then getting sideswiped as it entered the traffic lane still in reverse. The troopers fired 11 rounds at the van, wounding three...

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