Racial Profiling

Topics: Police, United States, Racial profiling Pages: 4 (1478 words) Published: April 25, 2006
Racial Profiling Literature Review

Racial profiling occurs when race is used by law enforcement or private security officials, to any degree, as a basis for criminal suspicion in non-suspect specific investigations according to Goldberg (1999). With that said, discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, nationality or on any other particular identity undermines the basic human rights and freedoms to which every person is entitled. Although there is no single, universally accepted definition of "racial profiling," we're using the term to designate the practice of stopping and inspecting people who are passing through public places -- such as drivers on public highways or pedestrians in airports or urban areas -- where the reason for the stop is a statistical profile of the detainee's race or ethnicity. Amnesty International released its report on Racial Profiling in October 2004. The report boldly states that when law enforcement uses race, religion, country of origin, and ethnic or religious appearance as a proxy for criminal suspicion it undermines national security. Racial profiling is so pervasive that it has impacted nearly 32 million people in the United States - approximately the population of Canada. my motivation for writing this paper is show that racial profiling: a) is a systematic tool used to unlawfully target selected individuals in society subjecting them to undeserved intrusions, b) how racial profiling and racial disparity go hand in hand and how c) racial profiling has hurt efforts to forge better race relations post September 11th. It my opinion, it has been a hindrance to better race relations and has not been effective in the alleged war on terror to single out potential terrorists. While incidents of racial profiling are widely deplored today, there is little said about the actual root cause of the phenomenon. According to Harris (2002) the standard explanations for racial profiling focus on institutional racism, but that idea...
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