The Fourth Amendment states the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. America has always seemed to pride itself on the freedom and equality that it gives to the people who live here. Although over time, what America seems to have always stand for, has seemed to simply become invisible. When we look at the amendments and that values that America has prided itself on, they have not seemed to stand strongly for what they believe. Am I saying that things have not gotten better, no? But I am saying that if you stand for something and make your beliefs so public, wouldn’t you want to abide and stand for them. Despite these rights, multiple minorities across the country suffer at the hands of police officers through racial profiling; the singling out of a person or persons as the main suspect of a crime based on their race. Many people have also suffered the loss of a loved one because police believed the suspect to be a threat based on their races, therefore, the officers use their authority to take out the threat.
Although racial profiling may make sense to police officers in the line of duty, through the eyes of the public and those affected by police actions, it is a form a racism that is not being confronted and is allowing unjust convictions and deaths. Despite the fact racism has been around for hundreds of years, the upcoming generations are now becoming more open-minded and are less likely to publicly criticize minorities. Racial profiling, however, is the one loophole of racism that America overlooks. A simple example is if you put two kids, one black and one white, more than 99% of the time, you will see not dislike or evil. Racism is not something that you are born with, rather something that you adapt to due to where you live and the environment that you are raised in. Police officials often use the practices of racial profiling to discreetly single out minority races. When I was walking at night with my friend after a football game late at night, I saw a cop and was not approached. As the cop stayed near the area, a kind of color was walking just like me and my friend, and was approached by the cop in his car. I do not know what happened after that, although it gave me a glimpse as to what it is like to be of color and how racial profiling really was a concept and act.
A common approach to this that we see is through traffic patrols. According to a statistic based in San Jose, CA, nearly 100,000 drivers were stopped. During the year ending in June 2000; and of these drivers less than 32% were white, the remaining 68% of drivers were a mixture of Latinos, African-Americans, Asians, and other races. Along with already being pulled over, drivers are subjugated to car searches, often without warrants. These searches are often meant to illustrate the increase of police efficiency with the discovery of illegal contrabands. However, recent research has shown repeatedly, that increasing the number of stops and searches among these minorities doesn’t lead to more drug seizures than are found in routine traffic stops and searches among white drivers. Minorities are also subject to an increased number of arrests for minor crimes. For example, in Minneapolis, African-Americans are 11 times more likely to be put into jail, not necessarily convicted; for drinking in public, they are 19 times more likely for trespassing, 27 times more likely for lurking, and 42 times more likely for not having a valid license, than that of white citizens. Should a humans first instinct be to kill? Police are often trained to disable a threat and as a last resort, kill.
What does this say about America’s law enforcement when an officers’ victim is a person of color who is unarmed? For the past 10 years, black males are often showcased on TV for shooting a cop, robbing a store, ect. You definitely do not see a white males on TV for committing the same crime as a person in color. A recent and well-known case of unjust demise by police is 22-year-old Oscar Grant. A young black man gunned down, whilst handcuffed, by a white police officer. Grant was unarmed and had posed no threat to the officer. Similarly, 23-year-old Robert Tolan Jr. was given the same fate by an officer who had allegedly received inaccurate information about a stolen vehicle. Like Grant, Tolan happened to be a black man shot by a white police officer while unarmed. There is no evidence can be given to justify these deaths. Family members of the deceased will have to live with the burden and the knowledge, that the color of their skin, may be the only reason for their loss. Think about that, you are more likely to be targeted and listed as harmful because of the color of your skin.
When You think about this, you really may ask yourself; what does The United States of America really stand for. There are hundreds of cases that can be built against police officers with the small number of deceased victims that are of minority groups, all of which were either unarmed, seeking medical assistance, or were involved in or were suspected of low level crimes, or attempting to do their jobs. Law enforcement officials and courts have continued to use race as a legitimate factor in making policing decisions. A police officer cannot forcibly stop or detain people without reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct, but the evidence has continuily proved to go against this. Racial profiling may be caused by the racial upbringing of an individual or simply the pure ignorance of the police force. How is one of color yet a child of color supposed to feel safe, like there country is there to protect them. Rather they fear for their lives and fear if they will be targeted because they are of color. Whatever the reason for this uncouth practice, it needs to come to an end. The act of stereotyping of a minority group does no good to the community nor the reputation of the law enforcement. If we continue to keep using the idea that minorities are less and more dangerous, when will we ever make a change.
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