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"Justification of Racial Profiling"
Justification of Racial Profiling
Gina Allred
In recent years, racial profiling has become the subject of much controversy in the United States. This law enforcement tactic has come under so much scrutiny because many feel that it specifically targets minorities and violates our civil rights. However, when race is combined with other key identifying characteristics of criminal involvement, profiling is a sensible and useful technique in which police employ the laws of probability to make the best use of their scarce resources in attacking crime. As a result of the huge public outcry against this practice, many laws have been and are in the process of being enacted to make profiling illegal. In turn, this makes law enforcement's job of protecting society from criminals, such as drug dealers, and in light of recent events, terrorists more complicated and near impossible.

Profiling is a well-known and long standing tool used by law enforcement to attempt to identify individuals involved in criminal activity. It is based on profiles or a set of coherent facts that reflect known conditions and observable behaviors associated with criminal activity (Racial Profiling Data Collection Resource Center, Online). True profiling requires various factors to be considered in order for the technique to be successful. For example, in the 1970s the DEA issued a compilation of identifying characteristics of drug couriers which include nervousness; conflicting information about origin and destination among companion travelers, no luggage for a long trip, lots of cash, and lack of driver's license or insurance (Mac Donald, Online). Furthermore, race and ethnicity become important identifiers when combined with other 'suspicious' characteristics due to past crime rate information. African-Americans commit a disproportionate percentage of the crimes that draw the attention of the police (Goldberg, Online). While blacks comprise about 12% of the national population, they account for about 58% of all carjackers between...

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"Justification of Racial Profiling." Aug 18, 2018
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