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Racial Profiling

            After reviewing different things that apply directly to policing today, I decided to do my research paper on racial profiling. I think this topic is important because it affects many people every day, and while it can be useful law enforcement tool, civil rights advocates say it violates people's rights as Americans. I hope to explore the pros and cons of profiling, and how it can be used as a tool for law enforcement.
             First of all to better understand racial profiling I looked up the Encyclopedia definition: Racial profiling is the use of race as a consideration in suspect profiling or other law enforcement practices. Our criminal justice book defines it as "any police initiated action that relies on the race, ethnicity, or national origin rather than the behavior of an individual, or on information that leads the police to a particular individual who has been identified as being, or having been, engaged in criminal activity.- (Schmalleger 757) I think it is best summed up as it the practice of using race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion as the primary factor in deciding who to subject to law enforcement investigations. .
             Many people, usually minorities, experience it every day, as they suffer the humiliation of being stopped by police while driving, flying, or even walking for no other reason than their color, religion, or ethnicity. Racial profiling is a law enforcement practice steeped in racial stereotypes and different assumptions about the inclination of African-American, Latino, Asian, Native American or Arab people to commit particular types of crimes. Advocates are divided on whether race should be: considered if it's statistically significant or never considered for any reason at all.
             In the wake of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks, the issue of "racial profiling" has become a hot topic. Its debated whether or not it can be effective in preventing terrorists from boarding aircraft.

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