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Does Racial Profiling Actually Occur Essay

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The concern about racial profiling is erupting throughout the nation. Many cities and states have decided to study racial profiling, or how race and ethnicity may play a part in traffic stops by law enforcement in their jurisdictions. There seems to be a generally accepted understanding of what profiling is. Profiling is the law-enforcement practice of scrutinizing certain individuals based on characteristics thought to indicate a likelihood of criminal behavior. Yet, there are two variations concerning the application of racial profiling. Profiling either utilizes race as a sole means of directing police attention, or uses race as a part of a larger set of characteristics and behaviors that lead to police involvement (2011, pg. 75). Regardless of the definition of racial profiling, the debate over racial profiling centers on two questions. Does racial profiling actually occur? and Is racial profiling being used and is profiling a legitimate tool of law enforcement?
Generally, the announcement of a racial profiling study by police and/or other public officials typically includes a denial that racial profiling exists “within this jurisdiction,” but also an acknowledgment that it would be helpful to study the pattern of police stops within the jurisdiction (2012, pg. 3). The prevalence of racial profiling and understand that this practice descended from stigmas created during slavery to socially control African Americans. The very act of undertaking such a study reaffirms the general public policy goal that policing decisions should be race-neutral.
Purpose of Study
With such activity being conducted by law officials for well over 100 years, why is it only now that the issue of racial profiling is making large news within the...


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...perpetuated by current practices and continues to dehumanize African American citizens. Before any progress can be made, officials must concede the prevalence of racial profiling and understand that this practice descended from stigmas created during slavery to socially control African Americans. Only after these truths have been acknowledged can society come together to begin to chip away at these lingering effects of slavery.



Works Cited

Adler, [. B. P. A., & Adler, P. (2012). Constructions of Deviance: Social Power, Context, and Interaction (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
Chan, J. (2011). Racial Profiling and Police Subculture. Canadian Journal Of Criminology & Criminal Justice, 53(1), 75-78.
Walker, S., Spohn, C., & DeLone, M. (2012). The Color of Justice: Race, Ethnicity, and Crime in America (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.



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