Racial Profiling Tool

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Profiling: A Valuable Policing Tool or Racial Prejudice Law Enforcement Abstract Profiling is the act of suspecting or targeting a person on the basis of observed characteristics, such as: physical, behavioral, or psychological. It is most notably used by law enforcement as an investigative technique. The origin of profiling can be traced back to the early 1800’s with efforts to relate criminal psychology to physical characteristics of a suspect. In 1956, a psychiatrist produced an accurate, detailed description of the “mad bomber” by studying crime scene photos and notes from the bomber. The FBI then formed a standard profile that became the model for profiling overall. Profiling is not infallible. There have been several…show more content…
Its imperfectness was experienced after the Oklahoma City bombing when experts first thought the suspects were of Middle Eastern descent (Amnesty, 2006). The perpetrator of the bombing was actually a white American. After the 2002 Beltway killings of black citizens began, authorities focused on a white male acting alone, the typical profile of a serial killer, allowing the two black men committing these crimes to go unnoticed although their car license plate was checked many times (Amnesty, 2006). When racial or ethnic characteristics are the primary cause for targeting a person for criminal investigation criminal profiling becomes racial profiling. The term ‘racial profiling’ is a new term commonly associated with the old practice of discrimination and owes its existence to prejudice that has existed in this country since slavery (Racial, 2006). Nearly 32 million people have reportedly been victims of racial profiling (Amnesty, 2006). Victims of racial profiling include: African Americans, Arab Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Iranian Americans, Native Americans, and American…show more content…
The perception that more African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and other minorities are more likely to carry drugs than their white counterparts intensifies the complexities of police discretion in stops and searches (Ramirez, 2000). The perception of racial profiling has become so common that nationwide the phenomenon has been labeled “Driving While Black” or DWB; in California, it is described as “Driving While Asian;” and in Texas, it is called “Driving While Mexican” (Wrobleski, 2006). In a survey, blacks were more likely than whites to be stopped; and blacks and Hispanics were twice as likely to be searched as whites (Wrobleski, 2006). Blacks reported that they were being stopped for petty violations, such as under inflated tires and failure to signal properly before changing lanes (Ramirez,

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