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Driving While Black - Essay Example

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This paper looks at the problem of racial profiling by police in the US. The question of “Driving While Black” is important because it touches human dignity and rights of thousand of people suspected in drug dealing or other crimes because of their race…
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Driving While Black
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Download file to see previous pages Recent well-publicized miscarriages of justice have caused embarrassment to the police, government and judiciary, and increased public concern about the quality of police functions (Weitzer, 1999). Similar misgivings are also felt about the expense and operation of the civil law system. A federal lawsuit United States v. Weaver has given police more freedom for racial profiling. Although, it stipulates certain patterns and norms when "blackness" can be regarded as "a signal" for that could be legitimately relied upon in the decision to approach and ultimately detain the suspect" Kennedy, 1999).
Taking into account facts presented by Weitzer (1999) and Harris (1987), it is possible to say that use of "Driving While Black" may be regarded as quite reasonable under certain circumstances. These researchers underline that the main crime patterns that are deemphasized include murders, sex offenders and gang activity. These crime patterns are influenced by behavior patterns of black offenders and could be reduced in all groups mentioned above. Also, police intervention activities are directed against gang activity and drug dealing as "driven forces" to criminal behavior typical for black population. To be effective police should employ different range of activities and cover different groups of potential offenders, and black people represents a big group of suspects.
In any case, it is important to emphasize that "blackness" is not regarded as "a signal" of criminal behavior. Studies found that: "Residents of both the white and the black middle-class neighborhoods were less likely to perceive or experience police abuse in their...
Taking into account facts presented by Weitzer (1999) and Harris (1987), it is possible to say that use of “Driving While Black” may be regarded as quite reasonable under certain circumstances. These researchers underline that the main crime patterns that are deemphasized include murders, sex offenders and gang activity. These crime patterns are influenced by behavior patterns of black offenders and could be reduced in all groups mentioned above. Also, police intervention activities are directed against gang activity and drug dealing as “driven forces” to criminal behavior typical for black population. To be effective police should employ different range of activities and cover different groups of potential offenders, and black people represents a big group of suspects.
In any case, it is important to emphasize that “blackness” is not regarded as “a signal” of criminal behavior. Studies found that: “Residents of both the white and the black middle-class neighborhoods were less likely to perceive or experience police abuse in their neighborhoods than were residents of the black lower-class neighborhood” (Weitzer, 1999). These facts show that class location is more important for police then racial differences and it is impossible to say about “blackness” as the only cause for illegal stops. On the other hand, rights are particularly difficult to operationalize in legal politics if the object of these rights is to protect indigenous identity. Since rights language is usually attached to the idea that individuals should be protected. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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