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Policing Racial Profiling Essay

1334 words - 6 pages

Policing and Racial Profiling
CJ 341: Police Methods and Organization
James C.Thomas
The University of Southern Mississippi

In April 2010, Arizona State Governor Jan Brewer signed off on the legislative Act formally known as SB-1070. This Act that was approved by the U.S legislature and was ...view middle of the document...

S citizens. As already mentioned throughout the commencement stages of the Police Methods and organization textbook, the U.S people themselves determine the goals of policing and give law enforcement agencies their authority to meet their goals [2], deeming citizen support as a vital part of law enforcement. However, given these new standards of proving legal citizenship like such being administered in Arizona, could prove detrimental to the local police and community relationship.
Across the United States, in an attempt to better convey the actual reasoning for which an officer chooses to stop a particular individual, several states require its law enforcement officers to record data regarding what they perceive as the actual race of the individual being detained by authority. The data collected is then analyzed to determine whether officers are profiling minorities during lawful stops based on racial bias. According to independent researcher Don Arp, Jr. police agencies are traditionally given six race choices when completing such post stop paperwork, the choices are: Black, Hispanic, White, Native American, Asian or Other [3]. That being said, legal statues prohibit law enforcement from actually asking those individuals being stopped to self-identify, except in Arizona, which consequently allows and encourages officers to use physical attributes to classify citizens. What makes this system so challenging is the fact that a racial stereotype is necessary to proceed no matter the circumstances, which ultimately contradicts U.S civil rights on its own [4].
If you ask a police officer if racial profiling is a common occurrence in their field services they will almost always deny or give a response that completely diverts the question itself. Undoubtedly police do this to protect their preeminence and authority. Rather than interpreting these denials of racial profiling, as a straight up lie, we’ll try to focus more on those democratic views, which only police seem to see within their own subcultures. See, police perform and act with their shield and subculture in mind at all times, they will try every way possible to perceive themselves as the perfect example of law-abiding citizens. In all reality it’s really an impractical way of viewing themselves, police are human and are entitled to their own views and opinions, however, law enforcement should take more accountability for their racial biases that are being used on a daily basis. According to researcher William Shaffir of McMaster University, he explains that “racial profiling is perceived by the police as one in a series of activities that define their work.”[5]. To say that the regular use of racial profiling is a complete necessity to properly conduct themselves on the job is completely unfathomable, whichever way you look at it. The society we live in today in 2014 is far more diverse and culturally integrated than years past, where racial stereotypes were...

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