Is Racial Profiling a Problem Term Paper

  • Length: 2 pages
  • Sources: 2
  • Subject: Sociology - Race
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #37149151

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Racial Profiling: An Overview of the Debate

According to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), racial profiling is one of the most controversial issues in America today. The data is clear that there is a stronger perception within many historically discriminated-against minority groups that profiling goes on and this has had a negative impact on community-police relations. Although data suggests that often members of minority groups perceive themselves as singled out by the police the NIJ also reports that satisfaction with the police is often more strongly correlated with neighborhood crime rates than race ("Race, Trust and Police Legitimacy"). The evidence is ambiguous regarding the extent to which racial profiling actually takes place. Some police supporters contend that higher rates of searches of minority suspects are likely to be due to a confluence of factors, including crime rates within specific neighborhoods, while critics point out that even minorities who are not arrested and who show no evidence of wrongdoing are searched at higher rates than whites.

While the levels of police mistrust are higher in minority communities, it is unclear if this is a reflection of reality or because of the difficulty of isolating possible variables which could affect search rates. On one hand, the data suggests that there is a higher probability of individuals from minority groups to be stopped in routine traffic patrols than non-minorities. This could be due to the fact that there is a higher percentage of minority drivers in communities where such traffic stops take place and that a higher percentage of minority drivers drive on the highway versus non-highway driving ("Racial Profiling and Traffic Stops"). A lower percentage of minority drivers routinely wear seatbelts, which could also increase the probability of being stopped ("Racial Profiling and Traffic Stops"). Some studies have confirmed that based upon existing data of traffic stops, the location and time of the stops may influence racial data more than suspicions of profiling ("Racial Profiling and Traffic Stops").

But other studies have found that while African-Americans, Latinos, and also Native Americans are more likely to be the subject of traffic stops, Whites are actually found to be equally likely to be in possession of contraband substances. In an Arizona study, "Whites who were searched were more likely to be transporting drugs, guns, or other contraband" although African-Americans had a higher probability of being stopped (Restoring a National Consensus, 10). In a…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Natarajan, Ranjana. "Racial profiling has destroyed public trust in police. Cops are exploiting our weak laws against it." The Washington Post. 15 Dec 2014. 4 Dec 2016. Web.

"Racial Profiling and Traffic Stops." NIJ. 10 Jan 2013. 4 Dec 2016. Web.

"Race, Trust and Police Legitimacy." NIJ. 17 Jul 2016. 4 Dec 2016. Web.

Restoring a National Consensus: The Need to End Racial Profiling in America. The Leadership

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