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RACIAL PROFILING: An American Dilemma
Transcript of RACIAL PROFILING: An American Dilemma
What is Racial Profiling?
A "Profile" is a comprehensible set of known conditions and observable behavior that indicate that a particular individual could be involved in criminal activity.
Racial Profiling is using a person's race or nationality to assume it's an indication of involvement in criminal activity.
How did Racial Profiling Begin?
The term "Profiling" first became associated with a method of prosecuting drug traffickers during the late 70s. In 1985 the Drug Enforcement Administration instituted Operation Pipeline, in which local and state police were trained in applying a drug courier profile as part of highway drug interdiction techniques.
A profile included evidence of concealed drugs in the vehicle, indications of fast driving and the age and race characteristics of probable drivers. The profiling technique soon became distorted, and officers began targeting Black and Hispanic male drivers by stopping them for technical traffic violations; as a pretext for ascertaining whether the drivers were carrying drugs.
Stop & Frisk
"Stop & Frisk" in New York City was a program by the NYPD where police officers would stop and question hundreds of thousands of pedestrians annually, and frisk them for weapons and other contraband. The majority of the people questioned were African-American or Latino which led people to believe that these stops are not based on reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Bill de Blasio, who succeeded Bloomberg as mayor in 2014, has pledged to reform the "Stop & Frisk" program, and is calling for new leadership in the NYPD, an inspector general, and a strong racial profiling bill.
Stop & Frisk: Pros vs Cons
The NYPD states, "Stop and Frisk" has led to a falling murder rate and more gun seizures. Homicides went down 21% in year 2011 and the number of illicit guns seized up to 31%.
Despite the fact that African - American and Latino males aged 14 - 24 make up only 4.7% of New York City's population, they made up approximately 85% of those stopped; while White males made up only 9% of this figure.
While Stop & Frisk is contributing to a decrease in crime, the fact that it provides the basis for racial profiling can't be ignored.
Anti Racial Profiling
Bill de Blasio, a father of an interracial family himself, has promised for reforms in "Stop and Frisk" programs and says that it causes racial disparities. De Blasio believes programs such as "Stop and Frisk" leads to distrust and animosity in communities of color toward the police. On January 1st, 2014 Bill de Blasio succeeded Michael Bloomberg as Mayor of New York City.
Pro Racial Profiling
While Joe Lhota has never outright supported racial profiling, he does support "Stop and Frisk". While running for mayor, Lhota stayed firm in his beliefs that getting rid of "Stop and Frisk" would make New York less safe.
NYC Mayoral Candidate Joe Lhota
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio
Large crowd protesting racial profiling
Black driver is targeted while the White driver isn't
Texan law enforcement officers are mandated to submit reports of racial profiling to the law enforcement governing body. Reports can then be accessed for public review.
George W. Bush
President G. W. Bush stated, "Racial Profiling is wrong. In doing so, we will hinder the work of our nation's brave police officers. They protect us everyday, often at great risk. But by stopping the abuses of a few, we will add to the public confidence our police officers earn and deserve."
Arizona enacted a law that required law enforcement officers the verify the citizenship of individuals they stop if they have reasonable suspicion that they may be in the U.S. illegally. Arizona made it a misdemeanor crime for an undocumented immigrant 14 years or older to be found without carrying these documents at all times.
State of Florida vs George Zimmerman
George Zimmerman is acquitted of second degree murder and manslaughter charges in the case of the shooting of the young Black teenager Trayvon Martin. The Black community says that Martin was racially profiled by Zimmerman, and that Martin was innocent and posed no threat to Zimmerman.
*Note: This court ruling caused much racial tension between the Black/ Hispanic and White community.
D.E.A. instituted Operation Pipeline which trained police to use a drug courier profile as part of highway drug interdiction techniques.
U.S. vs Armstrong
The U.S. supreme court ruled in U.S. vs Armstrong that racial profiling is constitutional, thus overturning a previous ruling that law enforcement officials must proceed on "the presumption that people of all races commit crimes."
*Note: This new definition of probable cause pushed away rights in the 4th and 14th Amendments which guarantee safety from search and seizure without a warrant, and that all citizens be equally treated under the law.
Timeline of Racial Profiling
The NYPD crime and enforcement logs of 2013 reveal that Blacks and Hispanics consistantly have the highest percentages of being the suspect to major or minor crimes. [
It's been proven that:
1. If you are Black, you are almost 25% more likely to be shot, and arrested for pulling a trigger.
2. Over 85% of men stopped and frisked in NYC are Black or Hispanic.
3. Since 2003, stops have increased by over 200%, but there is a less than 20% increase in guns.
4. Although stopped blacks were 127% more likely to be frisked than stopped whites, they were 42.3% less likely to be found with a weapon after they were frisked.
5. According to the NYCLU, "a weapon was found in only 1.8% of Blacks and Latinos frisked, as compared to a weapon being found in 3.8% of Whites frisked."
6. In one particular month more than 3 dozen lawsuits alleging improper frisks were filed which could result in NYC being sued over 400 times, causing the city to lose at least 4 million in tax payer dollars.
7. Only 10.5 % of cops reported violent activity as justification for stops.
These are the statistics of the survey on racial profiling given to many racially diverse people.
Is racial profiling by law enforcement officers bad?
Does Stop and Frisk promote racial profiling?
Are certain ethnic group unfairly targeted or profiled by law enforcement?
Will racial profiling be an ongoing issue?
Do you think Blacks and Hispanics are more likely to be found with illegally owned drugs or weapons?
Have you ever been stopped by officers because you looked suspicious?
By Maya J. Rivera & Cheyenne Ubiera
THE WASHINGTON MONTHLY presents: "Driving While Black"
The article stated above written by Charles Epp and Steven Maynard-Moody shed some interesting information on what it means to be a Black/ Hispanic driver or pedestrian. Stop and Frisk is not limited to NYC alone, but has been instituted in several states in America. While the key influence on who is stopped in traffic safety stops is how you drive; in investigatory stops it is who you are, and being Black is the leading influence.
One African American man told a story about how on the way to a job interview, he was pulled over by a Missouri highway patrolman for speeding a measly two miles over the speed limit. The trooper made the man get out of his car and put his hands on the hood while he searched his car. Finding nothing, the trooper came back and said, "The reason why we checked your car is we’ve been having problems with people trafficking drugs up and down the highway."
Such incidents have been felt nationwide by Blacks and Hispanics who have been not only stopped while driving, but for going about in their daily business such as waiting for the bus. U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheidlin made an interesting idea that could be a solution to this problem. This Judge ruled that NYC's Stop and Frisks violate the Constitution. The NYPD should better train officers in what kind of justifications for these stops are constitutionally acceptable and require officers to write the justifications down rather than check a box to indicate it.
The Problem with Racial Profiling
Racial profiling presents a great danger to the basic principles of the U.S. Constitution. It targets people of color for investigation, which in turn has proved to hinder policing efforts, and cause law enforcement to lose credibility and trust amongst the people they are meant to protect and serve. The police are supposed to protect citizens from harm and promote fairness in our communities. Racial profiling however, has led countless people to live in fear and has created a system of law enforcement that puts entire communities as suspect to crime. In order to fulfill the true meaning of all citizens being treated equally under the law (As brought out in our 14th Amendment), racial profiling must come to an end.
Prezi made by:
Maya J. Rivera and Cheyenne Ubiera