Racial profiling is a nationwide problem that has been going on for decades, sadly almost at the end of 2018 this is still a problem that we as a nation, are still dealing with. Despite claims that the United States has entered a so called post-racial era this sort of problem is still happening everyday across the country. This is such a terrifying problem because just by racially profiling someone can lead to many deaths, especially for minority groups such as black, hispanic, and muslims. If this sort of action-plan can lead to people losing their lives, law enforcement shouldn’t even consider using this as a strategy.
The New York Police Department came out with a program called stop and frisk. This program was allowing their 36,000 New York City police officers the right to target people of color or religion. According to Ranjana Natarajan, writer of the article Racial profiling has destroyed public trust in police. Cops are exploiting our weak laws against it, posted by the Washington Post, statistics show that 9 out of these 10 searches, law enforcement officers did not find anything and let that person go. Statistics also show in the stop and frisk program that 85% of targeting was african americans and latinos, half being black and a third being latino. Imagine being a person of color driving and being pulled over for a routine traffic stop than suddenly being searched for drugs or a weapon that you are not in possession of. Or even a muslim just simply walking down the streets and everyone looking at them either in fear or anger. Or a black man who walks into a store and is being followed by employers because they think he’s going to steal something. These are real life examples that happen everyday, these type of actions will just continue the vicious cycle of feuding between ethnic groups.
These issues of racial profiling is what played such a significant role of the controversy of Blacks vs. White cops. For example, when a officer is pulling over a black man and he has it installed in his mind that this man is dangerous, he probably has a gun. That’s when we hear on the news about a Caucasian cop shooting a unarmed black man for reaching for his license that was mistaken for reaching for a gun. This just causes a ripple effect on both sides not trusting the other. Which causes African Americans to racially profile white police officers by saying that they are all racist looking to kill innocent black people. Why should than, African Americans trust the police or help them in any kind of way to make their jobs easier. When we feel as if we are being picked on like a big bad bully in school. When law enforcement officers are racially profiling this can cause their lives to be in danger as well. For example, a Caucasian police officer pulls over a Caucasian male, he might not approach the car with the same cautiousness as if it was a African American male. The officer does this because he feels that his life is not in any danger and that the aucasian male he is pulling over is not a threat that might be armed and dangerous. When in fact every officer that is pulling someone over should walk up to the car with same cautiousness no matter what skin color that person may be.
Racial profiling can lead to innocent murders such as Trayvon Martin who was racially profiled as being a thug and ended up being shot and killed. As an African American male myself I know how it feels to be racially profiled as being a thug like Trayvon Martin. My freshman year of high school I attended a catholic school that was predominately Caucasian. After the first week of school a classmate of mine asked me if I was a blood gang affiliated member. He asked me this just based off the color of my skin and because everyday that whole week I wore a favorite red hoodie of mine. I felt extremely hurt because I have family members who are incarcerated due to gang violence. It was disturbing to hear someone ask me that, when he doesn’t even know me, when I am here for the same reasons as him to get a good education and better myself.
In this era, racial profiling needs to come to an end, police officer or not it should not be done nor tolerated. Nobody of any race should fear the police because they are afraid they might hurt them because they feel as if they are a dangerous threat due to their skin color. Police officers duties are to protect and serve the whole community, not only certain skin colors of the community. If you can’t do that as a police officer than you are not suited to work in that field because it requires to work with all sorts of different people. Everybody needs to be treated fairly and as all the same because if you look back all throughout time there has been a person of every race that has done horrible things. So why not make that assumption about everyone of that race. We are all equal, we were all born the same, we will all die the same, so let’s not look at anyone different just because of their color.
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