Acceptability of Racial Profiling By the Police
Racial profiling has grown to be a common social problem among the general public across the world. In most cases, racial profiling is presented as negative discrimination subjected to an individual due to their perceived racial or ethnic backgrounds. The police, however, are allowed to profile individuals based on their behaviors and characteristics. Based on the attributes of an individual, the police can determine the level of threat an individual outline for the general public at any given time. Negative racial profiling is, however, common among African Americans and Latinos. Racial profiling by the police is, however, acceptable.
The nature of the police force requires them to categorize people first, depending on their physical characteristics. As common with most people, meeting others in the first instance triggers an instant judgment where we tend to form ideas about the social status of the others. These kinds of judgments play a role in bias, but in some instances, they translate to good guesses. The natural perceptions, as developed by human beings, are, in most cases, influenced heavily by race, gender, disability, and age. This in turn leads to stereotypes and a greater extent, discrimination — racial profiling. As a result, stem from the formed opinions based on stereotypes against a particular race (White 237). The same phenomenon applies to the law enforcement officers where they make judgments about an individual based on the potential threat they outline. Such aspects of racial profiling are acceptable in law enforcement.
In most cases, the law enforcement officers act on stereotypes that are formed from some preexisting occurrences, which, to an extent, have been established as common with a particular group. For example, Latinos are always labeled with drug peddling owing to the high incidences of Latinos being arrested for drug trafficking. African Americans, on the other hand, are assumed violent and in most cases, are labeled with extreme criminal activities. In the same manner, Muslims are stereotyped as terrorists. Such accusations have come into light in the public domain, especially in the President Trump administration (Alex 460). Police in this manner is training to analyze crime and criminal activities even before they happen. As a result, a law enforcing officer will be quite cautious in the presence of Black Americans, Latinos, or even the Muslims based on the societal perspectives proven over time.
Law enforcement officers are supposed to be alert to prevent crime. Acting on societal suspicions, they have reasons to be cautious with what society feels uncomfortable. Practically, doubling up security in the presence of a potential threat is justified by law. The police are further allowed to act based suspicion, which in most cases has led to high-end criminal bursts (Huckabee 530). Therefore, racial profiling among the police does not imply racial discrimination. The police have a responsibility to deter crime and maintain order in society. Efforts by the same to ensure the safety of the general public cannot be categorized as negative racial profiling.
In conclusion, racial profiling by law enforcing agencies and especially the police is acceptable. It is mainly based on societal stereotypes. The society is most cases, is pushed to form such stereotypes from prior common occurrences. In the capacity of law enforcement, the police are, to some extent, allowed to categorize the general public based on their characteristics. The patterns of crime, as such, provide for suspicions that allow for racial profiling among the police and across the world.
Alex S. Vitale. Why police are rarely indicted for misconduct. Pp 460-63
Huckabee, Tyler. The problem with saying “All lives matter” PP 529-31
White, Alton, Fitzgerald. Right place, wrong face. PP 235-37.