Correlation of Police and Racial Profiling

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A host of Americas underprivileged minorities are accused of being involved in illegal offenses during their ordinary daily routines. This use of stereotypical appearances of ethnic background as a foundation for accusing one of engaging in criminal offense is known as racial profiling. (Dictionary,2018). This is a dilemma that is notably done by police officers, along with other state and local authorities. It is exercised daily within inner-cities, counties, suburban areas and more. Officers target these people without any form of evidence or probable cause to suspect such accusation. Racial profiling is in violation of the U.S Constitution equal protection clause and unreasonable search and seizures (U.S. Const. amend. IV; amend. XIV). The American Civil Liberty Union (2018) illustrates, how racial profiling disconnects society from law enforcement, interfere with community policing, and damage the trust that the community should in officers to protect and serve. Racial profiling is known to affect the behavior of policemen judgement with weapon use, unjustified stops, and the safety of their well-being (policemen) when in the presence of a stereotypical person of color. Nadal, Davidoff, Allicock, Serpe, Erazo (2017) elaborates on the victims like, 18 year old Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri, who was an African American that was killed by an officer; 12 year old Tamir Rice of Cleveland, Ohio who was an African American ; and 37 year old Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, LA who was an African American that was killed by and officers. This just goes to show that racial profiling of minorities is at an all-time high. These current incidents direct me to the research question, what is the correlation between the police and racial profiling of minorities?

Literature Review

Controversial Matter

Discrimination alone, has always been a problem within the ethnic and non-ethnic races, but racial profiling had taken a toll on today's youths and adults. The literature work Perceptions of Racial Profiling: Race, Class, and Personal Experience elaborates on the controversial matter throughout the recent years and examines current surveys on people's personal views on racial profiling along with recent data of studies done with police officers and their daily interaction with the ethnic group in their jurisdiction Weitzer, Tuch, 2002). A recent survey of 1,087 police chiefs found that 60% believe that racially biased policing was not a problem in their jurisdiction, whereas an additional 29% said it was only a minor problem (Fridell, 2001). Within this study, it was found that most ethnic backgrounds did experience a type of profiling. This experience effects the view of the prevalence and accountability of the practice. The findings on social class point to the need for furthered investigation and explanation of class influences on elevation of the police.

Representation of the Bureaucracy

The tension between both the police and the ethnic minorities of the communities have increased over the years. Throughout the literature Black or Blue: Racial Profiling and Representative Bureaucracy Wilkins, and Williams bring together racial profiling, police socialization, and representative bureaucracy. In previous research, the connection of active representation for race in organizations that rely heavily on socialization police departments. Police departments are notorious for their use of socialization to modify the behavior and attitudes of their employees. Therefore, this setting offers a difficult test for the theory of representative bureaucracy. Police departments meet the necessary criteria to facilitate active representation. The policy area of racial profiling is a highly salient issue for minority communities, and police officers exercise discretion in their work. Wilkind, and Willams stated, Subsequently, racial profiling has been defined in various ways, however, for the purpose of this article we will utilize the definition of Ramirez, McDevitt, and Farrell (2000) and define racial profiling as any police-initiated action that relies on the race, ethnicity, or national origin rather than the behavior of an individual or information that leads the police to a individual who has been identified as being, or having been, engaged in criminal activity (3). With its association of race and/or ethnicity as a proxy for an increased likelihood of criminal behavior, racial profiling reflects Skolnick's (1975) conception of America's symbolic assailant and is symptomatic of a much larger issue of bias-based policing 2005 pg.4).

Based on the previous literature on racial profiling, it simply restates the mistreatment and discrimination against those of ethnic decent by police enforcement through their policing strategies. In this review, it highlighted the research study used purposeful sampling to locate 7 African American participants that were interviewed regarding their lived experience with racial profiling. The data collected from the interviews were organized, sorted, and coded to reveal patterns and themes. The findings revealed that the participants believed that they were discriminated against, harassed, treated like criminals, and profiled by the police because of the color of their skin without cause. Based on Jones (2017 pg.22) research, In a similar study completed in the state of Maryland from 1995 to 1997, researchers discovered that African Americans drivers composed only 17.5% of the motorists on state highways; however, comprised 72% of the motorists that were pulled over and had their vehicles inspected by Maryland State Police (Ibe et al., 2012). Finally, in a study in the state of Ohio, it was found that African American drivers were two to three times more probable to receive a citation as opposed to White drivers (Ibe et al., 2012). The frequency of violent encounters involving African Americans and the police in America today, impacts or the attitudes and behaviors of African Americans towards the police needs to be determined, as it could ultimately mend the relationship between the two, as well as reduce the number of violent confrontations.

Methods Section


1. (2018). Racial Profiling. Retrieved November 6, 2018, from

2. Jones, D. P. (2017). The Policing Strategy of Racial Profiling and its Impact on African

Americans. 1-127. Retrieved November 7, 2018

3. .Nadal, K. L., Davidoff, K. C., Allicock, N., Serpe, C. R., & Erazo, T. (2017).

Perceptions Of police, racial profiling, and psychological outcomes: A mixed methodological study. Journal of Social Issues,

4. Weitzer, R., & Tuch, S. A. (2002). Perceptions Of Racial Profiling: Race, Class, And

Personal Experience*. Criminology, 40(2), 435-456

5. Wilkins, V. M., & Williams, B. N. (2008). Black or Blue: Racial Profiling and

Representative Bureaucracy. Public Administration Review, 68(4), 654-664.

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Correlation of police and racial profiling. (2019, Aug 16). Retrieved February 25, 2024 , from

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