Free «Domestic Terrorism and Racial Profiling» Essay Sample


According to the latest reports, domestic groups are seven times more likely to commit some kind of violence in the nation rather than overseas groups (Dempsey & Forst, 2011). A series of recommendations presented in the Task Force on Disorder and Terrorism report focused on the police role in responding to terrorism (White, 2012). Although it is believed that revolutionary and nationalist groups adopt their ideas from terrorists in the Middle East and Asia, these groups lack training and tradecraft to make either a sustained attack or systemic threat (White, 2012; Kingsbury, 2009). The problem of differentiating between hate crimes and terrorist crimes has led to unprecedented raids of immigrant communities and workplaces, which deny alleged suspects’ presumption of innocence and equal protection under the law (ACLU, 2009).

The following methodology was designed to perform a research: a) evaluation, which helped to identify duties of the police during the investigation of domestic terrorism; b) a survey, which helped to determine the number of victims of racial profiling over the last decade; c) analysis, which helped to determine what laws and services are available to victims of racial profiling; d) synthesis, which helped to identify what actions can be taken on behalf of victims of racial profiling.



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Can the Establishment of Terrorism as a Crime Committed Domestically Change Policing?

The response report by Cooper et al. outlines the difference between criminal investigation and counterterrorist operations (White, 2012). According to this comparison, American terrorism does not seem to affect all local police agencies in the same manner, because it tends to be geographically confined (White, 2012). Terrorism investigation involves increased intelligence, long-term surveillance, and informant development (White, 2012). Moreover, investigation techniques used in large, sensationalized terrorist incidents are the same techniques used by a local agency (White, 2012). Therefore, the most effective actions in preventing terrorism are routine gathering and forwarding information through intelligence channels (White, 2012). Police agencies committed to community policing models address terror threats of all kinds of individuals and groups they radar (The FBI, 2009). Cases of domestic terrorism have been prosecuted at the local level, because hate and anger crimes are not considered to be those that violate federal law (The FBI, 2009). However, the following cases indicate that a full suite of anti-terror tools should be applied to stop offenders before they strike: a) Right-wing domestic extremist-supremacists opened fire in the Holocaust Memorial Museum; b) Scott Roeder, a former member of an antigovernment militia which railed against taxes and abortion, killed a Kansas doctor, George Tiller, when he was in church. The doctor was believed to perform legal abortions. c) Abdulhakim Muhammad killed one soldier and wounded another, reportedly because of his angriness over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (The FBI, 2009; Kingsbury, 2009); d) James Holmes opened fire at “Batman” screening in Colorado, killing two people and injuring dozens (CBS Interactive, 2012). Therefore, behavior of homegrown terrorist groups should be studied as thoroughly as outside terrorist groups like al Qaeda (The FBI, 2009).

An Increased Number of Victims of Racial Profiling

People of color, Muslims, Arabs, and Asians have been treated as suspects after September 11, 2001 owing to the notorious registration program and federal agencies enforcement jointly with local law (ACLU, 2009). The U.S. government cites to over 400 convictions obtained for public officials’ misconduct in the year after the 9/11 attack (ACLU, 2009). These cases represent acts of racially discriminatory police brutality, which resulted in 26,556 complaints lodged against 59% of officers/agencies nationwide in the year 2002 (ACLU, 2009). According to the latest reports of NYPD, “685, 724 people were stopped in New York in 2011, 84% of whom were Black and Latino residents” (CCR, 2012, p.1). However, contraband was found in only 2% of all the cases (CCR, 2012).

Laws and Services Available to Victims of Racial Profiling

Racial profiling is known to violate the United States Constitution (Aguirre, 2003). In January 2010, the legislation called the End of Racial Profiling Act was introduced by U.S. Congress representative John Conyers (Ferdico, Fradella & Totten, 2012). The legislation was directed towards ending racial bias in law enforcement; thanks to the legislation, victims can bring lawsuits against the police alleging violations of their constitutional rights as guaranteed by the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth amendments (Ferdico et. al, 2012).

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Pre-Paid Legal Services offer Black and Hispanic motorists a policy that covers them as potential victims of racial profiling (Aguirre, 2003). This insurance policy provides twenty-four hour telephone access to a lawyer and a card which clients show to a police officer when they are stopped (Aguirre, 2003). This marketing plan is assumed to make police officers less likely to detain people on the basis of racial profiling if they are aware of people’s immediate access to attorney (Aguirre, 2003).

The Actions Taken on Behalf of Victims of Racial Profiling

The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association for Advancement of Colored People have filed class action suits seeking significant monetary damages caused by violations of constitutional rights in the racial profiling context (Ferdico et. al, 2012)  Other authorities that help to file private suits against local and state police forces are: a) the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; b) the National Women’s Law Center; c) the Puerto Rican LDF; d) the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law; e) the Asia American LDF (King & Smith, 2011). 

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Hate and anger crimes are not considered as violations of the federal law. However, counter-terrorism operations should focus on domestic incidents, as well as on threats that come from overseas. Moreover, investigation techniques such as sharing intelligence and conducting behavioral analysis are considered to be effective in preventing homegrown groups’ threats as well. Latest cases of domestic terrorism have proven that even lone offenders have become advanced in their strategic and systematic planning of attacks, which tremendously affects the political system. However, domestic terrorism is believed to have faces of racial and ethnic diversity, making new forms of racial profiling affect a growing number of immigrants and ethnic residents. Victims can file suits to seek monetary damages from local and state police offices on the grounds of breach of the constitutional rights and with the help of insurance legal services. Various legal authorities help alleged victims to file private suits against government actions with racially desperate impacts.


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