Is There Racial Profiling Against African Americans

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America is a beautiful place where people are supposed to live in peace and be treated equally. But, some people may disagree with this because they are mistreated due to their racial background. Racism has always been a problem everyone has to encounter at some point in his or her life. However, most people would not think that the police would contribute to the racism trouble that we have. Unfortunately, they encourage the negative issue by having a code called racial profiling.

Racial profiling is where the police think certain minorities commit certain crimes. For instance, if most black men are drug dealers, then a black man will be accused of being one almost every time they come across a police officer. The reason I think this is a social issue is because, the cops are the one who are there to protect and serve, but when they are harassing black motorist then who are they protecting. Early Overview

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In this paper you are about to read the views of others about racial profiling against African Americans, you will see how some say that from slavery until now, there has been a concerted effort by the white power structure to harass and intimidate the Black population, then there are others who say that the reason that there is racial profiling against African Americans is because of the high rate of crime that African Americans commit and that if African Americans wants racial profiling to stop then they needs to stop creating crimes.

In the first section you will be reading about is called Driving While Black and this will talk about how the police try to use justification for their arrest. The second section is called Why Cops Stop and Frisk So Many Blacks and this will talk about how some believes that the reason that African Americans are pulled over and searched often is because of their high crime rate. The third section is called LAPD says race not a factor and this article tell you about how they are complaints about racial profiling by police officers, nothing is done about it

Literature Review I have chosen a few articles as a basis of my theory on racial profiling against African Americans Driving While Black The reason that I have chosen the article is to show how that the police try to use justification for their arrest, like in this article it talks about in San Diego, the police are ever vigilant to pull over black people driving expensive cars. In October of 1997, a black man named Shawn Lee and his girlfriend were stopped by the California Highway Patrol on Interstate 15.

Lee, a member of the San Diego Chargers football team, and his girlfriend were handcuffed and held by police for more than an hour. The patrolman said that they were detained because Lee was driving a car that fit a description of one that had been reported as stolen that night. This story was false. Lee was driving a new Jeep Grand Cherokee. The stolen vehicle was a Honda. A similar kind of racial typing is evident up the coast in supposedly liberal Santa Monica. In the fall of 1996, two police cars tailed Darryl Hicks and George Washington, two black men, as they pulled into the parking garage of their hotel.

The police cruisers turned on their lights and at gun-point ordered the men out of their cars. The men were handcuffed and placed in separate police cars. Washington and Hicks’ car was searched. The police claimed the men were being detained because they fit the description of suspects wanted in a string of nineteen armed robberies. The officers also said one of the men appeared to be “nervous”. Washington and Hicks later sued the police officers for false arrest and civil rights violations.

In ruling for the two men, the court determined that the armed robberies had not occurred in Santa Monica and that neither of the men fit the descriptions of the robbers. Why Cops Stop and Frisk So Many Blacks I have chosen this article to show that some believes that the reason that African Americans are pulled over and searched often is because of their high crime rate. H. Mac Donald (2007) states that As long as blacks commit crime in numbers wildly disproportionate to their representation in the population, police data are going to show higher involvement with blacks than with whites.

According to victims and witnesses, blacks committed 68. 5 percent of all murders, rapes, robberies, and assaults in New York last year, though they are only 24 percent of the city’s population. Whites, who make up 34. 5 percent of New Yorkers, committed 5. 3 percent of those crimes. In light of this massive disparity in crime rates, the police stop-and-frisk data are not just reasonable but inevitable. Last year, 55 percent of police stops were of blacks—a proportion far below the 68. percent of violent crime that blacks commit—while 11 percent of stops were of whites, nearly double their 5. 3 percent contribution to violent crime. There are two reasons that the high black crime rate affects the chance that black men will be stopped in greater numbers than whites. First, the NYPD focuses its resources where crime is highest, and that is in black neighborhoods. In recent years, the NYPD has saturated high-crime areas with rookie cops, whose job is to intervene in crime early by stopping suspects.

Second, because police officers are 13 times more likely to be searching for a black than for a white suspect for any given violent crime based, again, on the victim’s own identification of his assailant their rate of stopping blacks, as they search for suspects, will be far higher than that for whites. So many black men are facing a higher chance of getting stopped in New York. The blame for that does not rest with the police, however; it rests with the criminal element within the black community that is terrorizing the hundreds of thousands of law-abiding minority New Yorkers. LAPD says race not a factor

I have chosen this article to show that even when there are complaints about racial profiling by police officers, nothing is done about it like this story about Los Angeles Police Department officials announced Tuesday that they investigated more than 300 complaints of racial profiling against officers last year and found that none had merit — a conclusion that left members of the department’s oversight commission incredulous. It is at least the sixth consecutive year that all allegations of racial profiling against LAPD officers have been dismissed, according to department documents reviewed by The Times.

In 2007, the LAPD’s Internal Affairs Group closed 320 investigations into allegations that officers stopped, questioned or otherwise confronted someone solely because of the person’s race. Nearly 80% of the time — 252 of the cases — the claims were dismissed outright as “unfounded,” according to an annual complaint report presented Tuesday to the civilian Police Commission. In the remaining cases, there was either insufficient evidence to reach a conclusion or no misconduct was uncovered. “A big, fat zero,” said a visibly flummoxed Commissioner John Mack, who is African American and the former president of the Los Angeles Urban League. In my mind, there is no such thing as a perfect institution. I find it baffling that we have these zeros. ” Compare and Contrast When you take a look into all three of these articles you see the same similarities about them, how police officers are stopping and harassing African Americans for no probable cause. When there is evidence that an injustice has nearly 80% of the time — 252 of the cases — the claims were dismissed another job and do the same thing. On the other hand you see the statistics and you wonder have the number increased in three years or have they stayed the same.

The difference about the articles is how some believe that the cops aren’t the blame it is African American crime rate that is the cause. Data Sources In this report, I have gotten my data from doing a survey which will be provided on the last page of this report, and the reason I decided to do a survey so that way people can be more open and discreet about answering rather than them telling me there answers face to face. I also used direct participation for my data collection. The reason that I choose this method is because I think that I will get correct and accurate results if I was involved in the study.

The study I will be doing will be based on having both the African-American man and the Caucasian male go in a department store at the same time both of the parties will be in their business attire and one will enter from the back of the store and the other one from the front. I will have them both in the area looking around for things, and I will be looking to see which one will be help first or who be followed around the store while they shop or even who will get there questions answered if or when they have one. Main Body Imagine driving to work, running late for an important meeting.

You are driving the posted speed limit, obeying all traffic laws, and you car is in perfect working order. All of a sudden, flashing red and blue lights are behind you and you’re being pulled over. The officer treats you as a suspect right off the bat, smothering you with questions concerning what you’re doing, where you’re going; yet never really telling you why you’ve been pulled over. Without any warranted reason the officer wants to search your car. After much hassle you are finally free to go, yet still have no explanation as to why you were pulled over to begin with.

Now imagine you are black and the officer is white. You have probably just experienced racial profiling. Racial profiling is a problem which is gaining widespread notoriety in the United States. It may be the most important homeland issue we face today. Racial profiling is a clear violation of the civil rights of United States citizens. Not only does racial profiling affect civilians, but it actually makes law enforcement ineffective. Most efforts to investigate and eradicate racial profiling have failed due to unclear findings and a lack of accountability on the part of law enforcement.

A stringent federal program to monitor and survey our nation’s police officers is needed. The public also needs to become more involved in efforts to stop racial profiling. In the Los Angeles Times, Times writer; Joel Rubin (2008) writes about how there were more than 300 complaints of racial profiling against officers last year and found that none had merit, to me that makes no sense, you would think there would be at least one that went to trial on, to me that would be telling a patron that even if it was racial profiling we are just going to sweep it under the rug.

In a Jet magazine article back in 2001 states that how New Jersey state troopers James Kenna and John Hogan, who faced felony charges for shooting three African Americans and one Hispanic American during a traffic stop, and these state troopers did not receive jail time for their actions. These state troopers, who admitted that they were trained in and expected to use racial profiling, recently escaped jail time for a turnpike shooting that drew national attention to the targeting of minority drivers.

By pleading guilty to lesser charges, they were fined $155 each for official misconduct and $125 each for giving false information, and were barred from ever holding jobs as police officers in New Jersey. Kenna and Hogan originally said they thought the driver was trying to run them over and they fired on the van, 11 shots in all, because they feared for their lives. However, the men admitted in court that they stopped the van because they were encouraged by state and federal officials to practice racial profiling.

This is another example of police cover up, how are we even going to stop racial profiling if nothing is done in the first place. Racial profiling has been a problem for many years all across the United States especially on the east and west coasts. Racial profiling is mostly used against African Americans, especially the men. It has been a huge problem in large U. S. cities like Los Angeles and New York City. Some studies have shown that African American men are more likely to be stopped or searched.

Fridell (2001) stated that a recent survey of 1,087 police chiefs have found that about 60% think that racial biased policing was not a problem versus only 29% feel that the problem was only minor. Blacks seem to feel that they are being treated as common criminals. This means that when it is a crime or traffic stop, they automatically get in trouble for the crime. In traffic stops, it mostly involves African American men because they may be driving an expensive vehicle, or even because of their skin color.

An example of this took place in Santa Monica, California. The incident occurred when two unarmed black men, names George Washington and Darryl Hicks, into parking garage at a hotel where they were staying at the time. Ford (1996) stated, two black men were ordered to get out of the car. They got out of the car while the officers had them at gunpoint. They both were handcuffed and placed in separated cars as the officers began searching the vehicle and checking them for identification.

The police allegedly assumed the two black men fit the description of two other black men who were involved in a chain of armed robberies. After being proven they were not the two men that were in connection with the robberies, both Washington and Hicks filed a lawsuit against the officers. During these encounters, the officer(s) may ask the man to show his identification for proof, have him explain where he is traveling to and from, and the officer(s) also may ask if he uses, distributes, or even manufactures any drugs.

Sometimes a black man is racially profiled against because of the way he is dressed. Fredrickson and Siljander (2002) stated an airport detention that led to the arrest of person who fit the description of a money courier. They also stated that person who was arrested in the investigation was a Black man. The black man was flamboyantly dressed and was wearing heavy gold jewelry. There was a white man, who was an attorney, was dressed the same way as the black man, but wasn’t arrested for loitering around in the airport for several hours.

The defense argued that everything is equal, except race, has proven the white man was not questioned, and the black man was detained because of the color of his skin. When it comes to serious crimes, blacks are more likely than whites to be convicted of the crimes committed. Whites are arrested six of eight times for crimes like rape, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson, and for African Americans are more likely to be arrested for serious crimes like murder and robbery.

Lastly, in the article written by H. Mac Donald (2007) states that says that blame high black crime, not police racism. She states As long as blacks commit crime in numbers wildly disproportionate to their representation in the population, police data are going to show higher involvement with blacks than with whites. According to victims and witnesses, blacks committed 68. 5 percent of all murders, rapes, robberies, and assaults in New York last year, though they are only 24 percent of the city’s population. Whites, who make up 34. percent of New Yorkers, committed 5. 3 percent of those crimes. Blacks are nearly 13 times more likely to commit violent crimes than whites. To this I say that not every African-American commits crimes, so the ones who isn’t committing crimes shouldn’t be racially profiled against that is like blaming rap music when kids commit violent crimes, to me that is coming from somebody who has never been racially profiled in her life, to me you can never truly understand how it feels to be racially profiled if you never experienced it.

On the views of Racial Profiling in American against African Americans, it depends on who you ask. Some will say that racial profiling is another way of slavery towards African Americans, and others will say that if African Americans would not dress so flamboyant or drive nice cars then they will not be racially profiled against. To me restate my last statement, you will never truly understand racial profiled if you haven’t experience it, just because you read about it in the paper of listen to it on the television, it does not compare to the real thing.

References (2002).

Blacks Criticize Sentences of White New Jersey State Troopers after Plea Bargain In Racial Profiling and Shooting Case. Jet, 101(7), 35. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database. Cockburn, A. (Ed. ), St. Clair, J. (Ed. ). (1999) Driving While Black. Washington, DC: Counter Punch Free, M. D. , Jr. (1996). African Americans and the criminal justice system. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc. Mac Donald, H. 2007) Why Cops Stop and Frisk So Many Blacks. City Journal Rubin, J. (2008, April 30). LAPD says race not a factor. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 30, 2008, from http://www. articles. latimes. com Slagle, D. (2007). Blacks More Likely Searched During Traffic Stops: Study. Jet, 111(20). 12 Retrieved From Premier database. Weitzer, R. & Tuch, S. A. (2002). Perceptions of racial profiling: Race, class, and personal experience. Journal of Criminology, 40, 435-456.

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