Racial Profiling Essay

421 Words2 Pages
Racial profiling is a form of discrimination by which law enforcement uses a person’s race or cultural background as the primary reason to suspect that the individual has broken the law. Racial profiling is a serious human rights problem affecting millions of people in the United States in even the most routine aspects of their daily lives. The debate over racial profiling has become a central element in a much larger history of adversarial relationships between the police and communities of color. Already-existing tensions between police and communities of color became heightened over the past two decades as allegations of racial profiling by law enforcement agents against people of color increased in number and frequency. A "profile" is a coherent set of facts - known conditions and observable behavior that indicate a particular individual may be engaged in criminal activity. The technique of "profiling" is a well-known and long-standing law enforcement tactic. In fact racial profiling can make us less safe. Multiple studies have shown that when police focus on factors such as race, they tend to pay less attention to actual criminal behavior. This is a dangerous trend that can inhibit effective law enforcement and ultimately endanger the lives of all persons who depend on law enforcement for protection. Racial profiling is a human rights violation that can affect Americans in virtually every sphere of their daily lives and often has an impact that goes far beyond the initial incident. As the testimonies summarized in this report reveal, this seemingly abundant human rights violation leaves its victims feeling humiliated, depressed, helpless, and angry. Furthermore, racial profiling reinforces residential segregation, creates fear and mistrust, and engenders reluctance in reporting crimes and cooperating with police officers. In these times of domestic insecurity,
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