Racial Profiling and Searches: Did the Politics of Racial Profilling Change Police Behavior - Essay Example

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Racial profiling and searches: Did the politics of racial profiling change police behavior? Introduction: More than a century has passed, since the emancipation of the slaves in America, however issues related to racial prejudices within the country's social and criminal justice system, are still being widely researched and debated…
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Racial Profiling and Searches: Did the Politics of Racial Profilling Change Police Behavior
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Download file to see previous pages While on the other hand, there is wide ranging literature based on sociological research which suggests that such prejudice as a part of the criminal justice policy is unintentional in nature, and is a consequence of racial effects and organizational practices. Racial profiling, a term which broadly refers to and describes a situation whereby individuals belonging to a particular race or ethnicity are randomly stopped and searched, based on mere suspicion without any authentic proof of violation of any law of the land, on the part of such individuals. As the allegations of racial prejudice in the form of racial profiling, continue to mount, there is a renewed interest in this field, whereby various law enforcement companies in the country are charged with and accused of racial prejudice. This article focuses on the issue of racial profiling and its impact on influencing police behavior. About the research: This research discusses the impact of racial profiling on police behavior. The authors have sought to understand and assess whether racial profiling has led to a change in the police behavior, and the same has been achieved through a systematic study of data accessed from the North Carolina Highway Traffic Study. The data so collected was then compared with the policy changes and study the approaches and methods used by officers in the North Carolina State Highway Patrol's drug interdiction team. This research primarily focuses on the search behavior displayed by the Highway Patrol in searching behavior of the police department in searching vehicles since they are mostly implicated of racial profiling. This research is based on the changes in pattern of searches of black and white citizens by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol's Criminal Interdiction Team, post the rise in debates of such racial profiling at the local and national levels. Primary argument of the research: Racial profiling is known to target minorities disproportionately, and the said strategy is likely to affect the policing behavior as well. This is mainly because, the police department is constantly in the center of attention of the news media, and are required to respond to political pressures. This makes the police organizations highly susceptible to change owing to the occurrence of events in the external social environment. There is substantial evidence which suggest a direct relationship between changes in policing behavior due to pressure from external parties and organizations with vested interests. To further substantiate their argument, the authors mention a study conducted by Prendergast (2001) which indicated the involvement and role of media in highlighting a corruption scandal and the manner in which such media reports influenced the citizens to take corrective action against the misconduct by the police department. Thus on the basis of these arguments, the authors have attempted to establish a link between politics of racial profiling and its role in changing and / or influencing police behavior. Reason/s for the study: Thousands of citizens are being regularly checked and randomly selected based on their race/ ethnicity for searches by the police department under the pretext of detecting and preventing possible harm to the social security of its citizens. Such searches are carried out on people belonging to racial and ethnic minorities, and without any ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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