Racial Profiling Research Paper

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There are numerous definitions of racial profiling and criminal justice. One of them defines racial profiling as any action taken by the police or other officers of the law for reasons of security, safety or public protection that depends on various stereotypes. Some of these stereotypes are about ethnicity, race, color, religion, ancestry, place of origin or a combination of all these. It becomes racial profiling when these actions are undertaken for reasons other than reasonable suspicion. In addition, it occurs when the officer of law singles out a person for different treatment or scrutiny. Other scholars describe racial profiling as every act started by the police or officer of law that depends on national origin, race or ethnicity instead of the behavior of the person or information that directs the officers to a certain individual who has been pinpointed as having been, being a, or participating in criminal activities (Pollock, 2011).

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Policing that is biased when it comes to the race of a person occurs when police officers inappropriately consider ethnicity or race in deciding how or with whom to intervene in the capacity of policing. Racial profiling can also be defined as using race as the determinant factor in deciding whether to order a traffic stop or not. In the current literature, there seem to be about two clearly recognizable definitions of the phrase racial profiling. In these cases, there are both a broad definition and a restricted definition. Under the broad definition, racial profiling is seen to take place when a law enforcement officer often makes use of race as a critical determinant that, together with a combination of other elements, causes the police officer to respond with suspicion and take action. Under the restricted or narrow definition, racial profiling is seen to take place when a law enforcement officer stops, arrests, questions or searches an individual solely because of the ethnicity or race of the person (Pollock, 2011).

Racial profiling is also the utilization by the police officers of a person’s ethnicity or races as a determinant in expressing reasonable reason or suspicion to stop, arrest and question a person unless ethnicity or race is part of the description of identification of a certain suspect for a certain crime. Racial profiling is not the same as criminal profiling; racial profiling depends on assumptions that are stereotypical because of an individual’s color, race, and ethnicity. On the other hand, criminal profiling depends on information about or the actual behavior of a suspect or suspected activity by a person who meets the criteria or description of a certain suspect (Pollock, 2011)…

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