Racial profiling or bias-based profiling is defined as initiating law enforcement action with an intention merely based on race, ethnicity or national origin rather than behavior or suspicion. It is a kind of official corruption by law enforcement agencies. The Texas Legislature makes it compulsory to prohibit racial profiling in the State of Texas. It is the duty of the police officials and other law enforcement agencies to follow the State laws.
How to prevent unwarranted profiling?
Racial profiling is a criminal case; so it is to be prohibited. A person thinks that he is blocked or searched only because of race; civilization or state origin; he may contact in-house dealings to file a complaint. This complaint should be properly investigated. Whoever makes a false petition against any officer will be charged with a criminal offense. Every law agency in the state is required to follow a policy to prohibit racial profiling.
The main principle of the policy is to collect information to observe racial profiling legislation. Any officer who does not comply with the policy shall have to undergo disciplinary action which may even include termination. Police should take action only based on reliable information. Whoever did anything contrary to this directive is committing an illegal act. Racial profiling is an offensive approach and will not be accepted anymore. Nine states and hundreds of cities have enacted laws and policies to prohibit unwarranted racial profiling. In Texas, the 76th legislature considered racial profiling but took no measures to root out this evil.
The primary assurances provided by the United States and Texas Constitution offer the same safeguards, beneath the regulation and liberty from unjustified interferences. The government agencies have to perform their duties in a responsible and professional manner, if not the trust and confidence of the public will be lost.
Racial profiling gives rise to many other problems:
- It increases the number of arrests. It prevents the police from serving people It prevents certain communities from working with law enforcement.
- It gives birth to racially motivated violence.
- Public trust towards the law enforcement agencies will be lost.
- It gives a wrong message that whites can be trusted and blacks cannot be trusted.
Whren v U S, 517 U.S, 806,116, SC 1769(1996).
In this case, police officers saw the vehicle of Brown standing on the road without any purpose for an unreasonably long time and after that he drove the vehicle at great speed. The police officers followed and caught the vehicle. After apprehending vehicle and driver, upon searching the vehicle, the officer noticed some bags containing certain drugs. Petitioners were arrested and they argued the stoppage was unreasonable. “judgment in this case is that the temporary detention of a motorist upon probable cause to believe that he has violated the traffic laws does not violate the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable seizures, even if a reasonable officer would not have stopped the motorist absent some additional law enforcement objective.” (Whern, et al., 1996, p.806).
South Dakota v. Opperman
In this case the police officer seized the respondent for wrong parking. When the vehicle was examined, the police officer noticed that he possessed a kind of drug was. So the police officer arrested him. In this case defendant argued that the His investigation was unreasonable. In this case judgment was in favour of police officer so here there is no violation of law. (Opperman, 1976, para.2).
Polices to prevent unwarranted profiling
Texas government has passed statement which provides several liabilities on the various instrumentalities of the state. This statement makes it obligatory that various instrumentalities of the state must gather information with respect to the color and creed of persons who are stopped in the traffic. In addition to this instrumentalities of the state should set up camera in patrolling vehicles to find out incidents related to racial profiling.
Statutes have been enacted by the Texas government to prevent racial profiling by certain peace officers. Some of the policies make it compulsory for the officers to participating in supplementary training programmes.The country has appointed a person as expert to study the various traffic stops and find out the incidents relating to racial profiling. The state tries to convince the public that the state is conducting many activities to prevent this evil.
The League of United Latin American Citizens prevents acts of racial discrimination. It brings issues and instances of racial discrimination to the attention of the people living in Texas. The League of United Latin American Citizens condemns racial profiling and demands that the law enforcement agencies must be thoroughly investigated and held liable for discriminatory actions against the civilians.
Racial profiling is a crime that dramatically affects civil liberties of people living in the United States. This also affects the day to day lives of the people. Today’s world, which strongly demands for international understanding, cannot tolerate racial profiling any more. Hence, the laws and policies of the State have to be properly implemented in order to stop this evil. In a civilized society there must be equal protection of laws and evil like racial profiling cannot be tolerated.
Opperman, V.D.S. (1976). Supreme court of the United States. 428 U.S 364. Cornell University Law School. Web.
Whern, et al., (1996). Certiorari to the United State court of appeals for the district of Columbia circuit. United State Supreme Court, pp.806-819. Web.