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Free «Racial Profiling and African American Males» Essay Sample

Racial profiling can be defined as discriminatory activities by law enforcing agents for aiming at particular individuals for suspicions of being a criminal based on the personal skin color, religion, ethnicity or even national origin. Basically, racial profiling as practiced the police force is the dependant don a group of traits that are believed to be associated with crime. An example of racial profiling is the use of race in the determination of which driver to stop just for minor traffic violations.

This is commonly referred to as "driving black or brown." (Marshall, 2004) Racial profiling does not mean the practice of pursuing a suspect by a law enforcing agent, in which particular description of the suspect include either race or ethnicity together with other identifying factors. Law enforcing agent under this context has been defined as an individual who is acting in a policing capacity for either public interest or even private benefits or both. In most cases, such individuals include security guards at the store department, airport security agents, and police officers among others, (American Civil Liberties Union, 2005).



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Racial profiling has been, and according to the present trend, it will continue being much problematic in the United States. A lot of people believe that racial profiling has become more prevalent in the current times, but the reality is that, this matter has been part and parcel of the U.S society from the slavery times. Nevertheless, African American Male, have been the most affected by this problem, this is true particularly in larger cities like New York and Los Angels cities. However, major concern with the act is that, the practice is becoming huge problem within the department of police.

In recent times, it has been reported that, the police officers are carrying out more traffic stops on African American Males than any other racial group in the United States. This is for the reason that most police officers believe that, African American male has higher chances of involving in some sort of criminal activities. Thus racial profiling is illegal in the United States of America. But, police officer has a right of has a right of stopping any motorist and search his /her vehicle, if by any case, the police officer feels that, the individual in question is withholding illegal weapons and or even drug.

Studies have shown that, African American males are the main victims of racial profiling in the U.S. in addition; African American males also believe that they are the key racial profiling victims. For instance, research on the topic in Washington indicated that around 50% of the African American males believe that they have been in one way or the other found them in a racial profiling situation. It has been indicated that, the practice does not take place in cities alone, but anywhere that African-American males do live, work or even traverse. Regardless of the location, may it be in cities rural communities. As a result, they usually face very close scrutiny by law enforcing agents, as compared to their counterparts who appear to be white.

At different junctures, and location, African American males were and still remain singled out and for harassment. Something much interesting is that, racial profiling is not just on black male youngsters in cities with gangster or at times with rapper, demeanor or even appearance; the practice is applied in a manner that does not discriminate African American males no matter their economic strata. African American males who have dignities like the educators, news reporters, sports individuals, lawyers and even business executives, are also stopped, questioned and even humiliated by law enforcing officers. This is just based on the fact that, they have black skin and are male.

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It has even gone to an extent where, done thousands dollar Armani suits does not shield protect them from being looked upon as drug dealing thugs. It has been shown that, negative stereotypical biases of the African American males, overshadow anything good that shows that they are law a bidding citizens. Min real sense, according to the eyes of many law enforcing agents, American African male who is drives a Mercedes Benz project the presumption of illegal practices, other than the presumption that the guy is a hardworking citizen.

Stereotypical Biases Effects on African American Males

The stereotypical biasness directed towards African American males, by law enforcing officials, has lead to a disproportionate number of African American males being stopped at different places and searched thoroughly. It has been assumed by many law enforcing officers that, African American males are mostly involved in criminal practices, particularly drug dealing. Such like sentiments by law enforcing agents, has become much evident when the Chief of New Jersey troopers defended racial profiling by saying that, most minorities in the state were being involved in cocaine and Marijuana trafficking.

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As a result, it is much obvious that, if law enforcing officers concentrate on enforcing drug laws towards African American males, and at the same time ignore the whites based on the issue of stereotypical biasness, African males will then be disproportionately stopped and searched. As a result, it will mean that among the U.S population, African American males are the only segment involved in criminal drug practices. In turn the available statistics retrieved from one of the jurisdiction, tend to prove the fact that, though there is racial profiling on the African American, available data shows that most are involved, hence perpetuating the discriminatory conduct.

By just mere out look, walking talking, and dressing mode of most African American males, they tent to be viewed negatively by many white individuals in America. In addition, African American male who travels through white neighborhoods, in most cases finds themselves stopped and checked by law enforcing officials and even investigated by similar individuals. African American males who drive foreign sports or luxury cars, have higher hence of being stopped and searched by law enforcing individuals, after suspecting them for drug trafficking, as well as car theft. Due to discriminatory stops, most African American males have higher chances of being arrested. The negative picture of this group, on top of stereotypical biasness directed towards this group, its members might automatically be stopped and arrested. Because of such biasness and disproportionate practices, law enforcing agents make assumption that, every African American man is a threat to them and to the society as a whole.

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Racial profiling as a result of stereotypical biasness also a relation to high incarceration rate African American man. This is particularly applies to these between the age of 20 and 39 years. In addition, the process of targeting minorities for traffic stops and searches, particularly African American along with the Hispanic males, might enhance their sentence due to other crimes, this particularly happen if trafficking violations are considered in the determination of their penalties. By bad lack, the killing of most African American males by law enforcing officials might have a direct correlation to the African American percentage that is being stopped.

Selective Enforcement

For round 30 years ago, the Supreme Court in U.S, in Terry V Ohio, placed a limitation on the capability of law enforcing officials to stop and search people with no reasonable suspicion, that such like individuals were engaged in criminal practices. With this, the court meant that, reasonable suspicions must be rooted in something stronger, other than just "inchoate and un-particularized suspicion or 'hunch." (Marshall, 2004) On top of this, the court held U.S. Vs Sokolow that "police conduct carried out solely on the basis of imprecise stereotypes of what criminals look like or on the basis of irreverent personal characteristics such as race," (American Civil Liberties Union, 2005) is against the Fourth amendments. The law enforcing forces are supposed to have facts that can be categorized as specific and articulate.

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Even if such like limitations are part of jurisprudence of criminal justice, and their tests have been repeatedly in Courts, law enforcing officials have been using racial profiling to routinely stop and search African Americans men. Most of them alleges that the search along with seizure fourth Amendments rights, as an effect, the seized prove has to be suppressed at trial. Since the investigatory standard does not need probable reasons, other than reasonable suspicion, consistently, courts have denied suppression of such proves. The usage of racial profiling in selective public law enforcement is mostly seen in traffic stops by the law enforcing officers.
Nevertheless, the act can be humiliating as well as frightening for anybody, particularly African American Males, who might be fearful for imminent harm the police.

For instance, Flowers Vs Fiore, an African American man motorist, who alleged that, law enforcing officials stopped, handcuffed, forced him to his knees, and searched his car. But the officers claimed that, some one called them and told them that, he had received a call from someone who claimed that, he had send some two black guys with guns, after a short period of time, Flowers was seen driving past the house of the caller. Such like searches though humiliating, but are seen by courts as being reasonable. However, in most cases, African American male have been treated in this manner by law enforcing officials, "without conscious of, or concerns about their constitutional rights."

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In the past half a decade, different studies have supported the conclusion that states that drivers' race and color, have been the reason for state law enforcing officials to stop and make search in cars that are being driven by African American males. The studies have concluded that, a large number of minorities are being disproportionately treated as compared with their white counterparts. Such like instances, have supported the suspicions that are held by African American male, that the occurrences of their rendezvous with the police has not been a matter of probability, but due to their skin color that is dark, as well as their gender.


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