Racial Profiling Essay example

7662 Words Jul 22nd, 2007 31 Pages
INTRODUCTION

Over the past several years, the use of race by law enforcement agencies in their policing activities has received considerable attention across the country. The controversy regarding "racial profiling" has centered on police departments' practices related to traffic stops—examining whether police have targeted drivers based on their race or ethnicity. Significant anecdotal evidence has suggested that some departments may be treating drivers of some races or ethnicities differently than white drivers. Parties using multiple definitions have complicated the debate over racial profiling. Variation among these definitions means that interested parties are often discussing different types of police practices, behavior,
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During the 80's state legislatures and Congress were vexed with their inability to arrest and convict "drug kingpins" (reason online p8). Laws were passed to ensure that police would seize the confiscated evidence of suspected pushers. "The federal Comprehensive Crime Act of 1984 (War on Drugs) was the most important of these measures, as it allowed local police agencies that cooperated in a drug investigation to keep the vast majority of the assets seized (reason online p8)." Asset forfeiture along with the so-called higher propensity of black motorists to carry drugs provides law enforcement agencies with a tremendous incentive to institute racial profiling. "The U.S. Department of Justice reports: "Collectively, local police departments received $490 million worth of cash, goods, and property from drug asset forfeiture

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