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Racial Profiling

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Racial Profiling

Racial profiling is defined as discrimination put into action based on a stereotype. Racial profiling other older names are "institutional racism and discrimination and owes its existence to prejudice that has existed in this country since slavery" (anonymous par 3) . No one is excluded from the potential to experience some type of racial profiling, regardless of their race, gender, age, background or religion. Racial profiling has existed in different ways since slavery. During the rebuilding period of the South, the first sense of racial profiling began with "Black Codes". "Black Codes" were created to maintain a new form of slavery. These codes made it punishable by imprisonment for any African American who loitered, remained unemployed, drunk, or in debt. The "Black Codes" were a form of what we call racial profiling today. From a ruling class perspective, the minority groups are constantly undermined, intimidated, attacked, imprisoned, and sometimes shot and killed. These acts take place in order for the ruling class to maintain control and in most cases unjustly abuse their power against these minorities.

Today, the most common form of racial profiling is done by the police and targeted toward African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans. It is otherwise known as "DWB", "driving while black" or "driving while brown" (St. Clair and Cockburn). This refers to the practice of police targeting African Americans and any other non-white groups at traffic stops because they believe that minorities are more likely to be engage in criminal activity. My first real public attention of racial profiling by the police happened two weeks ago, when the Nassau police pulled me over in long island. The officer look at my license and replied what am I doing out here, (being I had a non Nassau county address) I was told 2 get out of my vehicle with no specific reason. I was then give given and order to stand behind the vehicle to be search still with out any reason, in the mean time three other polices car arrived and proceeded to search the interior of my car. After nothing was found in my possession the police officer found night stick in the vehicle , which belong a police officer in my family, want 2 arrest me on possession of night stick. Before they put the hand restraints on me I identified my self as the nephew of a narcotic officer give his PBA card, phone number and zoning. The Nassau police officer later told my uncle that my vehicle fit the description of a drug suspect that they were looking for. I later found out I have been a victim of racial profiling. I also found out lawsuits have increased in that particular area (Levittown) because of the extra scrutiny police officers were putting on innocent minorities while practicing the use of racial profiling.

While racial profiling is illegal, the Supreme Court was fully aware that profiling was being put into practice and continued to allow the police to stop motorists and search their vehicles if they believe they are trafficking illegal drugs or weapons. More traffic stops lead to more arrests, which further skews the racial profiling statistics against African Americans and other non-white groups. Studies have shown that African Americans are the most likely targeted for these "pretext stops" (St. Clair and Cockburn par 4), but it only fuels the continuance of a cycle that will take more than just a new rule to repair.

Researching the police training, I found evidence to support the theory that racial profiling is prejudices put into practice. Police officers are faced with balancing their knowledge of training against the potential for racial profiling. It all starts with their education at their training academy and continues with their service training. In service training is achieved by pairing with a street partner, which is another police officer that knows the way of the streets in that specific area. At any point a different form of training, "informal training", begins. I refer to this training as "informal" because this training is the type that you learn through your own perception, its gathered information as you go along. This is not training that is necessarily taught, but can include one's own prejudices and steps are not taken to prevent these prejudices from entering into the officer's decision making process. A police officer will use their own ways to deal with situations and make judgment calls based on what they see or feel. The police officer can base their reactions on their informal or formal training as well as the officer's own motivations, like fear, physical abilities and adrenaline, which can take over at any time. Even though prejudices profiling are going to be in an officer's decision, we must see the importance of how we are categorized. "How an police officer is socializes in there professional career and personal settings play an important role on how an officer will base his or her judgments". If an officer has been socialized to believe African Americans are more criminal, then the officer will use this information to possibly make a wrong decision. Police must remove their bias and judge people based on their actions alone or they will increase stereotyping of African Americans for further police officers and increase their potential abuse of power amongst them and other minorities.

One could look at other statistical research to prove the theory that African Americans and other non white groups are more criminal and the findings are not biased. Based on research that I found, other officers and statistics show that in the last twenty years there has been a higher reporting of black and Hispanic drivers at traffic stops than whites in most cities but it also shows that when white motorists were searched, they were the least likely to be found with an illegal item in there possession such as a gun or drugs compared to Blacks and Hispanics. Officials argue African Americans and other ethnic groups are more criminal and this is just the facts, plain and simple, biased judgment or not. Some of the most common complaints and reports that could show potential evidence of racial profiling include; police officers stopping a vehicle because he or she driving and the passengers did not match the type of the vehicle they were driving, police officers stopping those people of color while traveling through predominantly White areas(like me), and by far the



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