In today’s generation, law enforcement has had a bad reputation for quite some time already. Factors such as police brutality, racial profiling and racism often fall through the lines of the problems we face today regarding law enforcement. Police officers may sometimes take advantage because they may feel like they are above the law; but that doesn’t mean that this is the case for everyone. Not all who are in law enforcement are bad; but due to the overall view of law enforcement and its shared negative experiences, many will get the reputation that they are bad which leads to a biased conclusion.
Racial Profiling is a major issue that occurs when law enforcement is brought up; it is basically the use of race or ethnicity as grounds for suspecting someone of having committed an offense. Meaning through the cop’s eyes, you’re a target. Some statistics that have been stated and proven have shown people worldwide that racial profiling exist. For example, “Whites/Caucasians are twice more likely to receive a verbal warning for their conduct in a vehicle when compared to Blacks/African-Americans; Blacks/African-Americans are 3 times more likely to be searched during some police stop as a motorist compared to Whites/Caucasians. Hispanics are 2.5 times more likely to be searched during a police stop compared to Whites/Caucasians; A study of State Police conduct in Arizona showed that the highway patrol was 3.5 times more likely to search a stopped Native American and 2.5 times more likely to search a stopped African-American/Black or Hispanic individual when compared to Whites/ Caucasians.” These statistics have been collected throughout a couple years and has been proven to have been accurate. Situations like this happen all around the world repeatedly and it’s always alongside the same victims, colored or minorities.
Victim of Racial Profiling
Some incidents of Racial profiling that have occurred throughout the years have not always received justice. Besides the statistics, articles have been released due to these events. For example, Trayvon Martin, age 17; He experienced Racial profiling that resulted to his death. Zimmerman was supposedly a Racist, therefore having a record focusing on specific suspects; young black men. Despite the picture that his family had attempted to paint; making him seem to be a non-racist, including how he grew up with different ethnicities etc.; but it was not enough for the majority of the people who were watching this case. When the ending of the case came, despite the numerous amount of lies that were stated from Zimmerman’s side, he walked away from this case perfectly okay and that caused an uproar. This proved to the world that people can get away with Racial Profiling, even if you’re a wannabe cop.
Police Brutality vs Excessive Force
The difference between Police brutality and Excessive force is that with excessive force, it’s a government’s legal entitlement to use it, but with the minimum amount necessary. Where Police Brutality is the abuse of authority by the unwarranted infliction of excessive force by personnel involved in law enforcement while performing their official duties. It’s understandable if excessive force is needed in some situations, because things do get out of control; but to the extent of doing things that was uncalled for, or just not protocall, that’s abuse of their power; It’s considered to be an unacceptable act of violence used by officers of the state on civilized citizens. The fine line is too often crossed by many officers worldwide; and due to the fact that justice is not always served, it angers many who’s either experience it, or witnessed it.
Throughout the years, people noticed and done reports on how officers target people; racial profiling, police brutality and racism fall among the same line in some crimes that are committed. Police officers are targeting certain groups of people, and it’s been proven by Timothy Williams as he states the issues in a New York Times article. On July 7, 2016 Williams made a claim stating that a study supports suspicion that police are more likely to use force on blacks. Multiple reasons lead to this conclusion; blacks are frequently involved in criminal activity compared to whites, and Latinos. However, we could have an impact and change this by managing police officers to live in the neighborhood as well as using non-lethal force to control suspects and animals. This would ensure us that cops would protect us beyond what they’re doing so today because we will be policed by the people who are also involved in our community.
Police Brutality Victim
Some incidents of Police Brutality that have occurred throughout the years have been many colored people, alongside minorities being victims. Besides the statistics, articles have been released due to these events. For example, in Texas, on March 28th 2018, Officer Cameron Brewer Shot an unarmed black male with his pants around his ankles; and he was pronounced dead at the hospital. When incidents like this occur, people on the law enforcement side become overwhelmed due to the commotion it brings. When cops shoot African American males, it upsets many, especially if they were unarmed, innocent, or just minding their business. It’s not right that colored people and minorities are a constant target for incidents like this. In order to decrease these issues, it should start by how these officers are being trained.
Racial Profiling in Diverse Communities
Race is defined as a biological genetically isolated group that is characterized by a high degree of inbreeding that leads to distinctive gene frequencies. this distinctiveness is made most apparent by the presence of inherited physical characteristics that differentiate members of a group from others. Why does race exist? It is a social construction; society says that race matters and determines which attitudes and values are associated with a particular race. Society has acted on those beliefs and that allows people to influence others based on how they will interact. Racism is a form of prejudice, this is the term used to describe a person’s view that he or she in fact, is superior to another because of racial differences. It is a belief that people are divided into distinct hereditary groups that are innately different in their behavior and abilities. Groups can be ranked superior and inferior on the basis of those abilities and behaviors.
Racism plays a role in police brutality and it often creates barriers to those within the community. This shows how racism or racial profiling can impact many lives. Racial profiling will continue to be among us and our communities, however, due to segregation, our communities have been segregated against each other based on different races because some feel superior and inferior towards each other. This also involves gentrification, gentrification has been happening throughout the days because many of the minorities aren’t involved as much as whites in our own communities. This is why we are now seeing new buildings being built in places where there was no buildings rather than spaces available. This can lead to many minorities to feel some type of way with whites who are coming into our neighborhoods because they involve themselves much more than most of minorities.
We live in diverse communities and there’s been many incidents where the majority of colored individuals have been sought to be much more criminals than whites. In the community, colored individuals such as African Americans or latinos have higher crime rates than whites. Latinos within the community are much more aware of getting stopped and arrested by the law enforcement when in fact, many are innocent whereas whites are less aware due to having less crime rates. When colored individuals get pulled over there are more likely to get arrested than whites. Also many colored people, mostly the latinos are more likely to get tricked by the law enforcement. This shows how colored people have a higher percentage than African American and whites of getting tricked by the law enforcement. Some colored people believe that not all police officers act negatively towards them and it shows the respect most of them have towards the Criminal Justice System.
Overall, Police brutality is important to me because law enforcement are taking advantage of innocent people’s lives. Based on my research, this issue affects me and others who live in my community because we’re getting killed based on our skin color, the way we dress, the way people perceive us, and even how we act in our own environments. It’s not fair to us because many of us understands that it is there job, but to do it properly; not abusing their power, or harming others is the most vital thing. If cops start doing their job properly, and are trained better, it’ll be a big change in criminal activity, and the anger towards Police Officers.
In conclusion, Racial profiling indeed is an example of racism where in some cases those crimes that involve colored people in the case often create assumptions that it was their fault and don’t realize that could be the victim if they’re really guilty of committing the crime. This may allow communities to disconnect from each other such as creating barriers between people of color and whites themselves. Racial profiling is still a big deal today because it does make colored people live in fear because they don’t feel safe with law enforcement judging them on how an individual may appear and be perceived.