Racial Stereotypes In Law Enforcement

1175 Words 5 Pages
Stereotypes are, of course, not without any truth. The fact that there is a stereotype confirms its derivation of a common practice or characteristic of an individual or a part of a group. Acting on judgement based on stereotypes, however, is simply illogical and foolish. This especially applies to the practices of law enforcement. Although seemingly separate entities, the police force of a community and the general public it serves and protects are intertwined; each must be able to interact with no fear of repercussions on either party. Too often in the United States does this ideal become violated by the actions of racial profiling. With recent increased social tensions in racial and institutional matters, the issue of suspecting an individual …show more content…
As aforementioned, however, it is irresponsible to act on said impression. As the duty of a police officer is to serve and protect, no outside influence can nor should deter the officer’s responsibility to fulfill the law. Suspecting an individual of committing a crime is no petty matter; not only is the suspect’s esteem affected, but his life is changed as well in terms of, say, employment options. Thus, when confronted with this delicate situation, a police officer must only rely on evidence to justify an arrest. Utilizing racial stereotypes only distracts the officer’s sound judgement, often leading to mistaken arrests and even wrongful conviction. This argument is implied by perspective one, which states that evidence is the “only good predictor.” This is obviously true in every sense. Reliance on solid evidence benefits both the suspect and the police officer as there is less of a chance for the suspect to be wrongfully and needlessly arrested and the officer to be indicted. Opponents of the ERPA may justify profiling as part of the need to utilize all tools to prevent crime and “to make sure.” The glaring issue with this mindset is that there is a violation of citizen rights. If anything that can be done must be done in the name of justice, then what is the purpose of protecting constitutional rights of privacy? The Constitution gives reason why a law enforcer must have a …show more content…
The purpose of racial profiling, as the opposition claims, is to prevent crimes from occurring or to convict those responsible. The paradox that lies in this claim is based on factual conclusion. Ethnic and racial minorities are disproportionately stopped and searched by the police, but the percentage of those actually guilty of a crime is approximately the same as, for instance, whites, if not fewer. It is quite clear that racial profiling is, in fact, counterproductive to law enforcement. Perspective three takes the side of the opposition, stating that “some exceptions” have to be made. Looking back at the countless accounts of police brutality and needless deaths that so often result from it, one cannot make any exceptions when it comes to a human life. The ERPA cannot change the mindset of individuals, but in can provide grounds to prosecute police officials responsible for racial convictions. The trust between the general public and police agencies has become brittle and decayed, paralleled and seen with the interactions today. “To serve and protect” becomes “To seize and arrest” when racism comes into play. This is why no matter what context, a law enforcement official should only act on solid evidence. Doing otherwise has proven to distance and divide the public and the police even further, making violent and unnecessary interactions more likely to

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