Racial profiling is a word used to describe a situation where a person is classified based on their origin and ethnicity to discriminate against them institutionally. The United States has been tarnished by false claims and a history of a society that takes pleasure in treating individuals differently based on their race. The underlying rationale for these examples of racial profiling has been the possibility that people from these minority groups are more likely to commit crimes than those from other categories. Generally, based on what I have read on searches and police officer discretion, I agree with the viewpoint of racial profiling as expressed in the article “Racial Profiling in Criminal Justice.”
First, even though most police diligently accomplish their roles, there are bad ones that do not always do the right thing, especially when encountering minority groups. The role of law enforcement officials in society is complicated. Officers must react to a wide range of incidents in many situations (Huff, 2021). Huff (2021) argues that this has made policing to be distinguished by the significant levels of discretion enforcers must use in dealing with the circumstances they meet. The term discretion is used in the sense that the police have some choice in carrying out their mandate. Essentially, this pertains to the planning and control of certain population characteristics. As a result, it ensures that the security forces provide the finest services to the residents and thus has become a necessary tool in policing. However, it has its limits rendering it a subject of racial profiling in most cases.
As expressed in the article, discretion is often unrestricted by law because it is purely dependent on the judgment of the person using the tool, exposing it to the frequently misused method by law enforcement. While it is an important tool for building a well-functioning police force, its scope and bounds are sometimes unclear, resulting in ambiguity. The approach and circumstances in which individuals who have pledged to defend the public are at the helm of murders aimed at the people have tainted the question of humanity and the concept of fair judicial systems. As a result, when law enforcement functions in a way that develops a preconception that persons from a certain community are likely to commit a crime, it falls into the trap of making biased decisions and acts.
Second, racial inequities in policing have extended to include greater rates of Black Americans being stopped, interrogated, or searched. Stop and frisk is a novel policing strategy intended to prevent disorder and crime while boosting public faith in law enforcement (Mulaphong & Cheurprakobkit, 2021). According to Mulaphong and Cheurprakobkit (2021), although many studies have looked into implicit prejudices about this technique and its success in crime reduction and disturbance, nothing has been said about how it affects residents’ emotions of safety. Based on the article, when it comes to policing, racial profiling is described as an officer focusing on an individual’s ethnicity or race rather than on their behavior. Law enforcers have the option of searching everyone during a traffic stop. Nonetheless, bias still exists, leading to disproportionate searching of people from minority groups.
In brief, despite several attempts to ensure a fair criminal justice system and even amazing work by some police officers to shun discrimination, racial profiling still exists in most areas, like police stops. The institution should prioritize adopting best law practices for equity and fair treatment is urgently needed. Essentially, this guarantees that they are capable of serving humanity and protecting society with competence, compassion and impartiality. The recent events have shown that there are still inequities in the policing and judiciary regarding concerns of ethnicity and race.
Huff, J. (2021). Understanding police decisions to arrest: The impact of situational, officer, and neighborhood characteristics on police discretion. Journal of Criminal Justice, 75, 1-49. Web.
Mulaphong, D., & Cheurprakobkit, S. (2021). Does police stop and search make everyone feel safe? Evidence from the United States. Race and Justice. Web.