Police Profiling In Toronto Criminology Essay

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Ever wondered what goes through the minds of police officers, when they pull you over? For the majority of us, we dont let it phase us as there must be a legitimate reason to be pulled over, after all the law says the police officer can pull us over any time, and for whatever reason. To some this goes by them unchecked leaving many being taken advantage of the profiling, subconsciously police officers use every day. One such issue is clearly the implications of a series of articles published by the Toronto Star in 2002. For example in 2002, a headline in the newspaper proclaimed that "Police Target Black Drivers." The actual story told a somewhat different tale, using much more equivocal language: "Star analysis suggests racial profiling. An article published on 1 March also takes a more tentative posture. Speaking of the series, the article notes that "What we didn't do is draw any firm conclusions." But if "Police Target Black Drivers" isn't a firm conclusion, what is? (Roberts, 2) Now out in the open and been an issue for 8 years what's being done with it now? Of course now there is a dilemma on our hands as to who is right? Do the Toronto Police services engage in racial profiling and is it proven? I'm now going to discuss this in my paper and break it down into different categories to fully break down the issue. (Shaffir and Vic, 193)

Do the police use race as stepping stone for judging others? If so, the typical offender is or an insulting exercise of racial prejudice? These questions that have gone unanswered for too long in Canada. (Tanovich, 145) After offering a definition of racial profiling, we can pin point evidence that the practice is out of control in the United States and is likely practiced by Toronto police forces, particularly. As for its rationality, recent evidence on drug use and trafficking reveals that racial profiling is a myth. (Tanovich, 148) Racial profiling has had a catastrophic impact on those communities targeted by the police and there are some ways the Charter can be used to stop this practice. Since racial profiling is exercised through the use of pretext vehicle stops and investigative detentions, the focus is on section 9 of the Charter. Section 9 has the ability to protect unlawful search and seizure or discriminatory police detentions. (Tanovich, 154)

Taking on the devil's advocate, a position the labels racial profiling as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Claims from the angered public, or those who have had this type of profiling happen to them before leads to a stronger belief and more claims against racial profiling. Deceitful evidence is amongst us, and gives racial profiling a bad image. (Shaffir and Vic 201) But, as evidence clearly states a trend to which that "racial profiling" is being attached, such unpredictable evidence is agonizing and useless. Undependable evidence shows more of the side publicized in the media such as those " Police Target Black Driver's" (Wortley and Tanner, 369-371 )

The way I see it, the problem isn't in racial profiling, but in its own right and its discrimination in the charter. It deals with racial profiling as an pragmatic development that apparently exists at the Toronto Police Services. It all started by having claims being published in the Toronto Star, many years ago. Those observed claims must be revaluated and taken appropriately if this is to be a far argument . (Wortley and Tanner, 369-371)

Now further looking at a true definition of what racial profiling is to fully understand my point . The difficulty for one to grasp and understand that they can be psychologically by having a "wanted" posters put up for everyone to see. (Tanovich 158) Everyone interpretation are different from one another. Some label police officers as hypocrites as they try to find ways to show all act he same way. That reality, far from the truth, shows how incompetent people really are. Also The Toronto Police services is ensuring that it not only does not tolerate but nor try to promote it within their Force. The police force, does its best to root out racial profiling all together, but that in its self a different problem but under no means does it. (Wortley and Tanner, 372-373) Many have reason to believe that the concept is applied to a situation where a police force is seen as promoting racism through teaching materials or other shared police knowledge. Training videos in which the drug traffickers are always blacks or Hispanics or operational instructions to watch the highways for older cars driven by black males are viewed as conveying unacceptable messages. (Wortley and Tanner, 374-375) Some indication of what racial profiling might mean can perhaps be acquired by focusing on the actual activity being described by the ridiculed.

All over in police forces the many profiles that exist, such as the sex offender profile, the smuggler profile ect... Profiles can be characterized in blunt terms as "pseudo psychology," for the simple reasons, they're vague and non-specific. These profiles are never successfully diagnostic when it comes down for figuring out who a suspect is. So, based on classifying those with these specific profiles, and one sees the science behind it is flawed the answer is obvious: there is no profile. (Melchers, 345) So, If racial profiling is simply another knock off psychology theory, the police should not use it, right? But on the issue of trying to prove that indeed police are using it, raises controversy. It is all quite obvious the other forms of profiling are successful in the field. In fact, racial profiling, unfortunately has unique advantages, but not given the same equality on the field. This immediately signals caution regarding the phenomenon that I discussed earlier.(Tanovich 168)

Looking as a whole generally, racial profiling is simply profiling, where race or ethnicity replaces all other characteristics. It's this that causes the issue of being a true known method. It's the difference that makes if unique to others and that is: race (Wortley and Tanner, 372-373) At this point, the confusion with racism becomes an excuse, but it can be played off as logically irrelevant. (Omar 194 et Wortley and Tanner, 369-371,373) Now seeing how two important factors come out of this racial profiling trend, the police decision making based upon race and that the police action at arresting criminals is going to be looked upon. The first influencing factor is data collection; the second, for drawing conclusions about whether the trend has been proved.

Profiling gives us something about an unknown offender by identifying a characteristic that make up the profiles for them. Racial profiling simply claims the race of unknown offenders, which is troublesome. (Roberts, 344-350) To state the obvious, if the police stop only black males because the perpetrator of a homicide has been described by witnesses as a black male, this practice is absolutely unrelated to any claim of racial profiling. Why? Because, racial profiling claims must give a clear understanding between hands-on police action and reactive police activity. Racial profiling claims confuses both types of police activity. The only relevant data should reflect hands-on police activity unrelated to a biasing racial factor.( Wortley and Tanner, 378-379)

An example of this is shown in police stops. Little is the public educated in the profiling literature, as they won't have this thought cross their minds. There are other, less obvious, causal factors that unknowingly bring the police into greater than random contact with visible minorities. ( Roberts, 344-350) Now take for instance : If police activity is stepped-up due to community concerns about local speeders and that community is reasonably deprived and in the same way heavily populated with visible minorities, the statistics will be slanted towards more police-minority interactions.( Roberts, 344-350 ) But, it's no surprise that the police are only giving greater attention to that area to reflect high crime. It is simply not police-initiated activity that is the original circumstance the greater attention to the particular minority, i.e. Blacks. (Ron, 356)

The Toronto Star didn't seem to have this in their articles, strange. Yet its common sense to have this though cross one's mind when we talk about research being done before having something published. Did they not include a random sampling in their research, and thus gave the skewed results they were looking for. (Ron, 355)

To further sum up my point and move on to my conclusion, assuming that data collected is neutral and the stats collected show police activity with white interactions and minority interactions, the next big question is what can be drawn from this, validly ? now one must ask why is there any basis to wonder anything wrong? To put in assumptions that reflects something wrong is to assume there should have been something else, and data should have been collected accordingly.(Toronto Star)

The Toronto Star unfortunately didn't follow this standard. They further claimed that such a baseline is recognized globally , yet they cannot be anymore wrong. Never in research has a reputable researcher use general population as a yardstick. To have the Star make themselves believe it was socially acceptable, the values of a general population are meaningless when it comes to racial profiling. (Ron, 359 et Wortley and Tanner, 367-390) It's unfortunate the Star articles are to be dismissed as the researchers simply did not use any valid comparison tools to conclude anything whatsoever wrong with actual figures obtained. (Ron, 357 et Wortley and Tanner, 378-379) The obvious should be noted in the set-up of a baseline for results, such as measuring the absolute number of drivers of each group, or miles driven?

What makes this worse is the Star also uses comparable percentages in their article, and its assumption shows that the statistic for each racial minority and white are the same. how is this even possible? It's never a perfect world to assume that police will interact with all groups evenly and randomly. They also assume that crime is randomly distributed in population group, proportion to the whole. This assumption is a huge mistake and makes males over- represented in this case, as well as other ethnic groups. Their own data showed the following; black account for up to 8% of population but 27% of arrest for violent crimes, as they are over represented compared to a census in homicide , as well as the drinking and driving charges showed blacks under- represented and whites significantly over - represented. (Ron, 358 et Wortley and Tanner 378-379) The point is that statically difference, even if truly existed is , well meaningless and doesn't give good reason for racial profiling.(Toronto Star et Wortley and Tanner, 367-372)

So the key is to distinguish that the issue is about getting the identity of criminals and lies an suitable measure to do so with outcomes. in doing so effectively is through bias free policing. Imagine, if the police where to wrongly relying on race that will be shown as a increase in the unsuccessful outcomes. Where we have to explore the unknown aspects of racial profiling and as anything its comes ever so important to identifying the criminal and nothing else, just as simple as that.(Ron, 361 et Wortley and Tanner, 367-369)

Now, if the police are wrongly relying on race, then that will be reflected in an increase in unsuccessful results. The release and withdrawal rate for black defendants should be significantly higher than for white accused. The hit rate for searches should be lower after allowing for any bias and aiming for minorities. Measuring outcomes, not awareness or viewpoints expressed in investigations, will provide evidence of profiling in that it will reflect unwise and unsuccessful police activity, which is what, at bottom, profiling, in all of its forms, regrettably is. It recognizes that profiling is pseudo psychology and that's what pseudo psychology is, and that's why outcome measures are what should be looked into. (Omar 193 et Wortley and Tanner, 367-390) So tell me now what you think as the facts unfold, now your an educated individual with the dirty truth do you believe the Toronto police service engages in racial profiling? I beg to differ, and I hope I was informative with m point of view on the sensitive matter and show the flaws that we have in our system today.