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Racial Profiling

             The federal government should end racial profiling by requiring policemen and other law enforcement officers to keep detailed records of each individual they stop to question or search. These records should include the person's race; the reason stopped; how long the car was detained; and whether a ticket was issued, the car searched, or any illegal goods or weapons were found when the traffic stop was made. Racial profiling is the police practice of stopping and searching African-American and Hispanic drivers at rates far disproportionate to their numbers on the road. I personally, have repeatedly been an innocent victim of racial profiling in the city in which I reside and while visiting other cities in the United States. Famous African-American men such as Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. of Tennessee, Wesley Snipes, Blair Underwood, Christopher Darden, and NAACP President Kweisi Mfume have also been stopped by police, allegedly for no other reason than the color of their skin. Robert L. Wilkins, a Harvard-educated Washington attorney, was traveling along U.S. Interstate 68 in 1992, returning from his grandfather's funeral, when a Maryland state trooper pulled the families rented Cadillac over for speeding. When the trooper asked to search the car and its contents, Wilkins refused. But the trooper set loose a drug-sniffing dog to comb the car's exterior, including the windshield, the hubcaps, and the taillights while Wilkins and his family stood in the rain. No drugs were found. The Wilkins family was completely humiliated. They were humiliated. They were later awarded a $95,000 settlement from the Maryland State Police, as well as an agreement by the agency to keep records to help prevent discrimination (Jones 38-40). Statistics on racial profiling are controversial, but in a recent study, Temple University Professor John Lamlberth determined that about 75 percent of the motorists and traffic violators along one stretch of U.

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