Racial Profiling Is One of


If officers are heavily deployed to predominantly minority neighborhoods then we should not be surprised to find minorities over represented in police stops, especially when the results are evaluated citywide. At the very least a department should evaluate enforcement practices at the neighborhood or beat level taking into consideration various factors that might affect a police officer's behavior. Beyond this administrators should recognize that there is clear evidence that neighborhood factors may be more important to the level of support for the police than race or ethnicity.

d) Manage the Leader's influence and message

A leader's influence has a profound effect on behavior. Subordinates tend to behave in ways that they perceive are consistent with the leader's desires. Behavioral cues are sometimes communicated indirectly by the leader through offhand comments, gestures or side bar comments. More often than not behavioral cues communicated informally have more influence on employee behavior than published policy. Addressing racial profiling however requires far more than communicating appropriate organizational values. Police executive should conduct extensive audits of their department's mission statements, code of ethics, policies and procedures to insure they do not inadvertently violate human rights. Administrators should consider a wholesale change in their department's incentive structure and de-emphasize the importance of the war on drugs. A leader's risk and rewards. A risk is an allegation of racial discrimination which affect individual professionally and personally. Rewards on the other hand, is proactively addressing racial profiling controversy expresses a commitment to the equal administration of justice.

e) Provide Proactive Training and Education

Training may provide a solution to the racial profiling controversy, just as it has for many other issues facing American policing in the past. Training may help officers understand the complexities of their task and how others interpret their behaviors. Training should be tailored to an agency's specific needs. Teaching elements relating to the racial profiling controversy should permeate across the department's curriculum. Although important, training should not be considered the single solution to the racial profiling controversy.

f) Use Technology to document the policing process

Even thought the police were initially resistant to in-car video systems, they learned of their benefits over time. Technology may offer solution to the racial profiling controversy. Video and audio recording of police / citizen contacts provide the best documentation of police behavior available. It also provides researchers with a means, although time-consuming, to evaluate the accuracy and completeness of police stop data. Recent improvement in information technology may more efficiently provide accurate and timely information about criminal behavior and suspects.

g) Actively seek an avenue for changing the current law

Some scholars advocate the following as a means to address the racial profiling controversy; (1) A return to the pre-Terry era wherein police officers had to articulate probable cause for even cursory searches; (2) An increase in the amount for evidence necessary to established reasonable suspicion; (3) The police should not allowed to search on the basis of objectively innocent, but contextually threatening behaviors, like avoiding contact. An expansion of prosecutions using Section 14141 may provide a solution, but only if the U.S. Department of Justice has the resources and administrative will to do so. Expanding the judge made exclusionary rule to make evidence seized from a racially motivated search inadmissible. The quality of racial profiling research must be improved before serious legal interventions can be considered.

h) Pass prohibitive statutes that provide criminal penalties

Prohibiting statutes are one of the most widely discussed alternatives for addressing the racial profiling controversy. Effective prohibitive statutes should include the following features; (1) A comprehensive ban on all forms of racial profiling, including that based on religion; (2) A prohibition of pre-textual stops; (3) Criminal penalties for officers or departments found in violation; (4) The collection of stop data; (5) The analysis and reporting of stop data; (6) An independent review of the data collection and analysis process; (7) A process whereby victims can seek legal relief; (8) Training for officers.

i) Make the police more accountable

The police should consider the social, political and administrative costs associated with racially motivated policing. These includes: (1) law hit rates; (2) an erosion of the public's perception of the legitimacy of the police function; (3) the lack of cooperation in the administration of justice from the general public caused by frustration with the police; (4) the fear among minorities to venture out of their neighborhoods that leads to further segregation of the races.

The key to remember is that profiling is a legitimate law enforcement tool but when it is abused it can have far reaching effects on the very liberties our country is trying to protect and depend. If profiling is used it must be done carefully and judiciously and with detailed clearly articulated parameters and safeguards in place beforehand. While there may be conflicts between our collective security needs and our individual rights, at the root of arguments that come down on one side or the other is actually common ground. Another key to remember is that ultimately, protecting the security of the United States is, at its heart, protecting the values our nation holds dear, such as civil liberties, diversity and fairness.


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Web site: http://illinimedia.com/di/feb02/feb28/news/stories/news_story01.shtml

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