Racial Profiling Just This Past Term Paper

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Detroit has also joined Los Angeles and Chicago in having such a regulation. A similar bill was attempted unsuccessfully thus far in Texas (2001). Responding to the concerns of organizations that represent Hispanics, Muslims and individuals of Arab descent, the Detroit City Council unanimously recently approved an ordinance that prohibits city officials from profiling people based on their appearance, race and similar factors. The regulation also bans city officials from asking the immigration status of people who have not participated in a serious crime. The city says that it is against the harassment of individuals who are Detroit residents or who come to Detroit, based on their physical appearance (Kruppa, 2007, B5). Ordinance exceptions for police investigations of active crimes are if the immigration status is relevant and in the assistance of federal investigations of terrorism.

Overall, changes in the law have been slow in coming -- especially on the national level. In 2004, the End Racial Profiling Act of 2004 (ERPA) was introduced in the U.S. Congress. Launched with bipartisan support in the House (H.R. 3847) and the Senate (S. 2132), if passed the legislation would have curbed profiling by law enforcement officials on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity or national origin. Prior to 9/11, efforts were supported to combat racial profiling that predominantly targeted blacks and Latinos. Unfortunately, this practice has become even wider since the terrorist attacks (Library of Congress).

The act on the Department of Justice's 2003 guidelines that prohibit racial profiling. Approximately two dozen states have adopted similar initiatives. ERPA would input an all-purpose ban on profiling that is based on race, religion, ethnicity or national origin by federal, state or local law enforcement. House by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) and Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) introduced the legislation. ERPA would define racial profiling, as well as implement statistical collection systems that identified and tracked racial profiling that would help repair strained relations between police and minority communities. The difficulty again with such laws is the concern of security vs. civil rights.

It does not appear that problems such as racial profiling will be eliminated soon, especially with the concern of terrorism.
It is up the individual communities to put things in place that will reduce if not end the problem. This means exploring all sides of the controversy to find a way of solving varying needs. The concept of racial profiling is a complex and is often oversimplified. Some of the actions that can be taken include recruiting officers who are a true representation of the community's diversity, provide the necessary training to deal with racial issues; incorporate community policing into the philosophy of the police department; uncover the true reasons for racial profiling in the department; collect data to determine trends and declines/improvements; have the officers accountable for their actions and be disciplined if necessary; promote the positive aspects of the police to the public (Holbert & Ross, 2004 pages 227-237).

As with any problem of such proportions, until actions are started nothing will be accomplished. The first step that communities have to take is to recognize and admit they have a problem and need to take action.


ACLU. (2007, April 29). Department of Justice Statistics Show Clear Pattern of Racial Profiling. Retrieved on May 10, 2007 at http://www.aclu.org/racialjustice/racialprofiling/29532prs20070429.html

Amnesty International (nd). Testimony from Amnesty International USA's hearings on Racial Profiling. The Case of Donald Boyd. Retrieved on May 10, 2007 at http://www.amnestyusa.org/Racial_Profiling/While_Walking/page.do?id=1106668&n1=3&n2=850&n3=1298

Hairston, M. (April 27-May 3, 2006). ACLU pushes racial profiling bill to end victimization of color. Mississippi Link. 14(7), A1-A2

Hight, Bruce. (2001). Austin American Statesman. House, Senate bills aim to ban racial profiling Series: 77th Legislature. Pg. B. 1. Retrieved on April 29, 2007 at http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=69279762&sid=1&Fmt=3&clientId=2606&RQT=309&VName=PQD

Krupa, G. (May 10, 2007). Anti-profiling law passed in Detroit. Detroit News. B5.

Library of Congress. To prohibit racial profiling. H.R. 3847. Website retrieved June 1, 2007. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z-d108:HR03847:@@@L&summ2=m&

Los Angeles Times (May 17, 2007). Police panel approves anti-profiling….....

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