Posted on

Police Departments’ Use of Racial Profiling Essay


The construct and pattern of racial profiling by the jurisprudence enforcement bureaus specifically. the constabulary. has drawn the attending and concern of the public including the authorities. Racial profiling is defined as “the pattern of aiming persons for constabulary or security interdiction. detainment or other disparate intervention based chiefly on their race or ethnicity in the belief that certain minority groups are more likely to prosecute in improper behavior” ( Laney. 2004 ) .

Another definition proposed by Hernandez-Murillo and Knowles is that it is a statistical favoritism as a tool to foretell criminalism and would seek more intensely the minorities than if they were of a different race. Therefore. the discretion to implement or non implement the Torahs or policies based on classs or race of people have ill effects on those persons involved including impacting the public’s perceptual experience in a negative manner ( Pruitt. n. d. ) . It casts uncertainty to the legitimacy and equity of the condemnable justness system and destroys the trust of the people in the jurisprudence enforcement. It creates negative stereotypes who limit attempts in achieving social justness

( Pruitt. n. d. ) . Furthermore. besides making erroneous perceptual experiences about the different races. it besides creates misconceptions about the constabulary. Discrimination by a few in the constabulary force is magnified as to be a trade name label to all. This demoralizes the many who are just and do their occupations with award and dedication. Direct effects are seen on the targeted group. for case African Americans and Hispanics change their drive wonts because they perceived to be the mark group in traffic Michigans ( U. S. Congress. 2000 ) . The members of the targeted group go uncooperative and develop contempt and disdain of the constabulary ( Pruitt. n. d. ) .

Racial profiling for some is appropriate and justified. They believe that it is a “sensible. statistically based tool that enables jurisprudence enforcement to concentrate their energies more expeditiously and it besides lowers the cost of obtaining and treating information and therefore reduces the overall cost of policing” ( Kennedy. 2000 ) .

They further claim that the constabulary are justified in size uping more a peculiar sector or race if in the topographic point where they are assigned. the members of this sector commit a disproportional Numberss of offenses. Similarly. they scrutinize work forces more than adult females. The footing for supporting racial profiling as appropriate is centered upon its being empirical and statistical. Furthermore. it is claimed that racial profiling prevents offense sing that by placing the drivers at dark clip would strip a possible felon of namelessness ( Garlikov. 2000 ) .

Those who argue against racial profiling base their dissent on constitutional and practical evidences ( Kennedy. 1999 ) . Racial differentiations are opposed chiefly on the misdemeanor of the Fourteenth Amendment—the equal protection clause. Even the tribunals in exercising of judicial reappraisal. have applied ‘strict scrutiny’ pronouncing that the usage of race in authorities decision-making gives rise to a given of misdemeanor of an individual’s civil rights ( Kennedy. 1999 ) .

“The usage of race in governmental determination devising may be upheld merely if it serves a compelling authorities aim and merely if it is ‘narrowly tailored’ to progress that objective” ( Garlikov. 2000 ) . An analysis of tribunal determinations would uncover that disparate intervention is allowed in doing Michigans provided that race is non the exclusive factor in making this ( Garlikov. 2000 ) .

On practical consideration. the statement against racial profiling is based on the disaffection that it creates. Alienation on the portion of the race singled out creates distrust and even hatred towards the constabulary and other elements of the condemnable justness system. In so making. informants refuse to collaborate with the constabulary in the probe ( Garlikov. 2000 ) .

The different methods of research employed in racial profiling are the baseline informations and the benchmark informations ( RCMP web site. 2007 ) . The benchmark informations. i. e. census-based informations. is derived from information that one gathers by halting drivers. The usage of halt informations is being employed by more or less 4. 000 different bureaus in the state ( Lamberth. Clayton. Lamberth. Farrell and McDevitt. 2005 ) . Benchmarking information “determines the right per centum of those stopped ought to be” ( Lamberth. Clayton. Lamberth. Farrell and McDevitt. 2005 ) . The benchmark information is compared with the halt informations to happen out if those stopped by the constabulary are largely from the minorities based on race or ethnicity.

There are two sorts of benchmark informations employed to react to different issues. External benchmarking is “designed to find what per centum of drivers in a given country “ought to be” stopped ( Lamberth. Clayton. Lamberth. Farrell and McDevitt. 2005 ) . Internal benchmarking on the other manus is a method of comparing the halt information of an officer with those of other officers who are likewise situated ( Lamberth. Clayton. Lamberth. Farrell and McDevitt. 2005 ) . This seeks to place the differences in the halt patterns of the constabulary officers.

The baseline informations or the baseline comparing informations utilizations comparings and statistical samplings to find the demographics of the population. Most frequently the constabulary bureaus employ the services of research workers ( Davis. 2001 ) . This is preferred than the benchmark informations nevertheless. it is more clip consuming and it entails disbursal ( RCMP web site. 2007 ) .

The move to carry on racial profiling surveies and in some provinces. probe and enquiry into the different departments’ patterns. has spurred both negative and positive impact on constabulary officers. In a survey conducted. it revealed a pronounced lessening in the figure of apprehensions ( Cleary. 2000 ) . This means that focal point was made on more serious discourtesies and hence. hunts and apprehensions productiveness improved. On the downside. it impacted on the constabulary officers’ morale. Most felt that their unity is put in issue and as a consequence a personal unfairness to them. This decreased constabulary aggressiveness. By and big. this caused demoralisation ( Cleary. 2000 ) .

Legal Perspective of Racial Profiling and Developments

Racial profiling violates the Constitution. specifically the Amendments and federal legislative acts. The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments proscribe favoritism on the portion of federal. province and local jurisprudence enforcement bureaus. The Fourth Amendment guarantees protection against improper hunt and ictus ( Cleary. 2000 ) . It has been held by the tribunal that traffic/vehicle Michigans initiated by jurisprudence enforcement violates the Fourth Amendment unless there is likely cause ( Wren v. U. S. . 116 S. Ct. 1769 ( 1996 ) . Furthermore. the Court ruled that these vehicle Michigans are most frequently a stalking-horse for a hunt and this circumvents the Constitutional warrant.

It besides violates federal legislative acts such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968. Any bureau that receives fiscal aid from the federal authorities is prohibited from prejudiced Acts of the Apostless based on colour. race or beginning ( Cleary. 2000 ) . The Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 prohibit prejudiced Acts of the Apostless based on colour. race or beginning and faith when committed by bureaus having federal fiscal aid. However. the Attorney General was given the power to prosecute those who discriminate regardless of whether they receive funding from the federal authorities ( Cleary. 2000 ) .

State Torahs may non be as effectual to forestall racial profiling ( Cleary. 2000 ) . For case in Memphis. vehicle Michigans are usual because of the drug job in that country. Its location is ideal for drug sellers and heroine and cocaine are really transported in private vehicles ( Cleary. 2000 ) . By ground of the public tumult. Public Chapter 910 plan was launched including a proposed Senate Bill 2214 which required traffic main road patrol officer to garner informations and information for every vehicle halt ( Cleary. 2000 ) .

In 2000. ‘Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act of 1999’ was introduced in the 106ThursdayCongress as House Bill No. 2656 ( Library of Congress web site. n. d. ) . It seeks to amend the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 which provided among others the bar of constabulary misconduct and the induction of surveies to rectify issues that pervade the jurisprudence enforcement bureaus. It besides punishes those who deprive one “of a right. privilege. or unsusceptibility secured or protected by the Constitution or Torahs of the United States” ( Section 601 ( B ) ( 1 ) . H. B. 2656 ) .

Numerous measures were proposed to extinguish racial profiling and the latest of which was ‘End Racial Profiling Act of 2001. There was a hearing on this proposed measure as called for by the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution. Federalism and Property Rights of the Judiciary Committee during the 107ThursdayCongress ( Laney. 2004 ) . It required that “any province or governmental unit that applied for funding under a covered federal plan would hold had to attest that plan participants had effectual policies and processs to extinguish racial profiling and to halt patterns that encouraged racial profiling” ( Laney. 2004 ) . The proposed measure nevertheless. failed to sketch the specific disciplinary processs for those who violated the commissariats.

The House Committee on Government Reform. on the other manus proposed the usage of engineering to extinguish racial profiling. i. e. picture engineerings ( Laney. 2004 ) . In the 108ThursdayCongress. there was no hearing scheduled on racial profiling. A measure was proposed specifically. ‘End Racial Profiling Act of 2004. ’ nevertheless the measure ne’er became a jurisprudence.


Cleary. W. Racial Profiling Studies in Law Enforcement: Issues and Methodology Minnesota House of Representatives 2000. Retrieved November 24. 2007. from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. house. leg. province. manganese. us/hrd/pubs/raceprof. pdf.

Davis. R. Racial Profiling: “What Does the Data Mean? ” A Practitioner’s Guide to Understanding Data Collection & A ; Analysis. AELE Law Enforcement web site. Retrieved on November 24. 2007. from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. aele. org/data. hypertext markup language

Garlikov. R. The Concept of Racial Profiling. Retrieved on November 24. 2007. from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. garlikov. com/philosophy/profiling. htm

Hernandez-Murillo. R. and Knowles. J. “Racial profiling or racialist policing: bounds test in sum data”International Economic Review. August 2004.

House Bill No. 2656. Library of Congress. Retrieved on November 23. 2007. from hypertext transfer protocol: //thomas. loc. gov/cgi-bin/query/z? c106: H. R. 2656. IH:

Kennedy. R. “Suspect Policy. ”The New Republic13 Sept. 1999.

Lamberth. K. . Clayton. J. . Lamberth. J. . Farrell. A. . and McDevitt. J. Practioner’s Guide for Addressing Racial Profiling. Retrieved on November 23. 2007. from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. lamberthconsulting. com/about-racialprofiling/documents/Report_PractitionersGuide. pdf.

Laney. G. . Racial Profiling: Issues and Federal Legislative Proposals and Options. CRS Report for Congress 2004. Retrieved November 23. 2007. from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. jurisprudence. umaryland. edu/marshall/crsreports/crsdocuments/RL32231_02172004. pdf

Library of Congress. “Traffic Stops Statistics Study Act of 2000. ” House Report 106-517. 106 Congress 2d Session. 13 March 2000.

Pruitt. T. From Anecdotes to Analysis: A Look into Racial Profiling in Memphis Traffic Stops. Retrieved on November 23. 2007. from

hypertext transfer protocol: //rhodes. edu/images/content/Academics/Tim_Pruitt. pdf.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police web site 2007. Racial Profiling in the United States. Retrieved on November 23. 2007. from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. rcmpgrc. gigahertz. ca/ccaps/racial_profiling_goff_e. htm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.