Racial profiling is the inclusion of ethnic or racial characteristics in establishing whether a person is deemed to commit a particular kind of illegal act or crime. It is used by law enforcement or officials of a private security, to any extent, as a basis for unlawful suspicion in non-suspect investigations (Amnesty International USA, n. d. ). Just before the end of the 20th century in the United States, the practice became contentious among the public as the potential for exploitation by law enforcement came to light. Under the “End Racial Profiling Act of 2001,” racial profiling is defined as:
The practice of a law enforcement agent relying, to any degree, on race, ethnicity, or national origin in selecting which individuals to subject to routine investigatory activities, or in deciding upon the scope and substance of law enforcement activity following the initial routine investigatory activity, except that racial profiling does not include reliance on such criteria in combination with other identifying factors when the law enforcement agent is seeking to apprehend a specific suspect whose race, ethnicity, or national origin is part of the description of the suspect. (Leach, n. d. , p. 1)
Racial profiling contravenes the democratic principles of the United States, and it does not abide by the country’s dedication to equal protection under the law for the entire populace. It is in addition a futile law enforcement approach. Studies have revealed that the further the officers make use of racial profiling, the less chance they have of discovering contraband. Although classifications of people of colour as alarming fact have long been part of typical culture and media in the United states, the most familiar illustration of police racial profiling, however, is “driving while black” (Ethnic Majority, n. d. ).
Driving while black is a vernacular term for racial profiling modified from the actual unlawful situation “driving while intoxicated” (ACLU, n. d. ). This demotes to the custom of police aiming African-Americans for traffic stops for the reason that they believe that African-Americans are more expected to be engaged in criminal doings. Unfortunately, despite the ethical and legal transgression, 26 States in America today have no law clearly prohibiting racial profiling, and 46 States do not prohibit racial profiling based on religion appearance or religion (Amnesty International USA, n. d. )
Racial Profiling Destabilizes Enforcement Endeavours Racial profiling has reportedly damaged significant terrorist investigation in the United States, including the bombings in Oklahoma City wherein the two white male attackers were able to escape at the same time as officers apparently operated on the assumption that the act had been perpetrated by “Arab terrorists” (Amnesty International USA, n. d. ).
In the same way, during the investigation of the Washington DC area sniper, the African-American man and teenager eventually accused of the crime purportedly were able to move across numerous road blocks with the asserted murder weapon in their control, for the reason that police profilers to a certain extent, speculated the offence had been perpetrated by a white male acting by himself (Amnesty International USA, n. d. ). Racial Profiling Makes Citizens Less Safe
Repeatedly history has demonstrated that race-based guidelines do not make the residents of the country safer. In reality, not only do such practices dissipate inadequate assets, they make residents less protected. For instance, the arrests of Richard Reid, a European ancestry and British citizen of West Indian, and John Walker Lindh, middle-class white male validate that effective law enforcement practices must rely exclusively on behaviour and not nationality or race in order to confirm safety (Amnesty International USA, n. d. ).
Likewise in 2003, allegedly as an act of public insubordination, a white Maryland student smuggled matches, bleach, box cutters, and an item with the similar stability as plastic explosive above six airplanes. Afterwards, he declared that he was able to elapse through airport security numerous times for the reason that he did not “fit the profile” (Amnesty International USA, n. d. ).