The negative effects of Racial profiling
Basically racial profiling is unfair and should not be encouraged. Racial profiling conveys a dehumanizing message to the citizens of every nation that judgment on criminal offenses is based on their skin color. Thereby, racial profiling interferes with the system of criminal justice in any Nation by making part of the citizens mistrust the law enforcers which is detrimental in ascertaining the community effective protection.
Racial profiling is generally defined as the utilization of a person’s race or even ethnicity by law enforcers as a principle factor in determining whether to pursue a certain criminal case further. In most of the countries worldwide, racial profiling is controversial and thus it is widely categorized as inappropriate as well as illegal. The racial profiling trouble is that in general even though certain racial alongside ethnic factions may indulge in specific crimes, majority of the justice systems rely on individual’s rights. A person should not be categorized as suspicious due to the individual’s racial or ethnical background. In countries such as the US, the legal systems prohibit conviction of crime suspects without obtaining substantial evidence. All in all, as a matter of fact, ethnical or racial identities should not at any given time be used as criminal behavior evidence and should not be factored in while interrogating criminal suspects. Majority of the people believe that racial profiling is simply the old racist extension as well as an ethnocentric behavior which affects law enforcement alongside justice agencies. In countries such as the U.S; the 9/11 terrorism events have led to the branding of the ethnic Arab Americans as potential terrorists. This has also necessitated the need of United States’ law enforcers to utilize Arab ethnicity as a method of determining an individual’s potential of being a terrorist. However, in reality, majority of the Arab Americans do not indulge in terrorism activities thus bringing into doubt the eligibility of this kind of racial profiling (Kops, 2006).
Racial profiling has become one of the issues of main concern within the U.S. The legality of racial profiling has actually been challenged within the Federal level through the United States’ constitution Fourth Amendment. This amendment guaranteed every citizen protection against unreasonable search as well as unjustifiable seizure. In addition, the amendment made it a must that all citizens face a fair trial in accordance to the law without considering their racial backgrounds. Moreover, various U.S presidents have come out strongly opposing the issues related to racial profiling. For instance, President Bush in his speech to the Joint Congress on the February of 2001, he stated that Racial Profiling was wrong and further mentioned that it was the time it was fully alleviated from the U.S. In his view, mitigating Racial Profiling was essential in ensuring that the public had confidence with the police officers. Moreover, in the year 2003; the Justice Department released its guidelines to various agencies dealing with the enforcement of federal laws prohibiting the federal law officials form utilizing racial profiling (Knowles et al., February 2001).
Unfortunately, majority of law enforcement officials view the utilization of racial profiling as effective as well as essential. They base their argument on the fact that variance in demographic alongside socio-economic factors result to higher crime rates in certain communities made up of larger percentages of minority populations. The racial profiling advocates ignoring this fact on the basis of ensuring moral integrity is professionally wrong. So as to justify their allegations, a task force dealing with airport interdiction based at the International Airport of Los Angeles brought about a report which indicated close identity in the number of arrests made only on the officers’ own observations and those made after the computer systems alerts. Such examples tend to affirm that considering individual’s racial factors do not essentially mean presence of prejudicial biasness. The law enforcement officials who fight for the legalization of racial profiling further argue that law enforcement success partly depends on its utilization in the identification of violators.
On the other hand, racial profiling critics view it as a violation of the suspect’s individual rights. Most notably, civil liberties movements of the likes of Amnesty International have come out strongly against racial profiling activities and they have actually classified racial profiling a discrimination form. In accordance to these movements, discrimination due to racial, ethnical or religious affiliations undermines an individual’s fundamental human rights. Critics allege that no individuals should be subjected to law enforcement process on the basis of their racial traits. Moreover, various locally based community groups have come up with detailed data indicating public perceptions of the unworthiness of racial profiling. In overall most of the people support the eradication of racial biasness.
In the U.S, several practical incidences have come up which make it necessitate the need of reconsidering the legalization of racial profiling. For instance, an agent dealing with airline tickets confessed to have suspected that Mohammed Atta who was the mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist bombings alongside his colleague seemed more of Arab terrorists when they checked in. The agent was highly suspicious that the two were terrorists but due to the illegalization of racial profiling but he could not conduct any further search on them even though he felt a higher need of conducting a thorough search of them. Another practical incidence but this time round against the aspect of racial profiling is that which occurred to Assem Bayaa who was of Arabic origin within the Los Angeles airport. Even though he had successfully gone past all the security checks, the airport management requested him to alight from the plane before take off before the other passengers had viewed him as a threat to their security. Despite the fact that Bayaa filed a case against the Airline for acting discriminatively, the Airline maintained that their action was for the benefit of all the other passengers. Empirical evidence has also revealed that academic researches done on searches conducted on motor vehicles indicated that the possibility of the searches success was much identical across all the nations. This was clear evidence that most of the police officers do not exercise racial profiling and thus their searches are not based on racial preferences. Similarly, arrests made on various pedestrian stops across the cities of United States showed that the race ration of those arrested was identical ((Kops, 2006).
On the contrary, unlike in the U.S, Canadian police officers have been accused of practicing racial profiling. Most of the visible minorities within Canada allege that most of the police officers target them on the basis of racial background. Researches conducted across various cities within Canada on police service records indicate that the number of blacks arrested by traffic officers was almost four times greater than that of the Whites. Most surprisingly, the research further revealed that the percentage of Asians arrested was even lesser than those of either the blacks or the Whites. Nevertheless, the Canadian police organizations highly condemned the report of this research and discouraged people against conducting such studies as they would make the police officers shy from pulling over unruly visible minorities. Further evidence of racial profiling within the borders of Canada is obtained after a thorough analysis of the prison’s population data. Despite the fact that Non Natives form only a small percentage of the country’s population (approximately 3.6%), they form the larger percentage of the prisoners detained in various prisons (around 20%). This is enough evidence that police officers pay more attention to the Non Natives due to racial profiling (Amnesty International USA, 2007).
It is thus quite clear that racial profiling has been left to take its course despite the high number of cons associated with it. Majority of the government authorities still advocate for the utilization of racial profiling due to the minimal number of pros associated with it. For instance, majority of the leaders within the United States administration believe that racial profiling is the only way through which the innocent U.S citizens can be protected against the harm of Islamic jihadists. All in all, it should be clearly known in the whole universe that discriminating people on the basis of racial, religious or any other singular method is quite immoral as well as unjustifiable. All the countries worldwide should have constitutions which prohibit racial profiling. Those suspected to have partaken in racial profiling activities should be severely punished so as to discourage the whole society from this unjustifiable act. Even though countries such as the U.S had previously legalized minimal profiling, the practice has currently been prohibited.
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