Mel New York

Profiling and Black Injustice

Racial profiling and black injustice is becoming more common. In order for us to achieve equal rights, we need fight the law because the law is not protecting us. Police officers get passes for taking innocent black lives over and over again. If we are citizens, our rights shouldn't be violated by authority; they should only be protected.

Dear next President,

Racial profiling and racism has been a major problem in our country. Racial profiling especially for black people in America is leading to the deaths of hundreds of people. Profiling is implicit bias that unfortunately police enforcement use in this country that leads to these kinds of police shootings that have happen to many African Americans. The reason why racial profiling and the murders of many black males have been happening is because it’s being excused, and people who commit these crimes aren’t being punished to the extent that they should be. The U.S. has a history in the 50’s and 60’s where lynching black lives was allowed because whites who chose to do this weren’t punished for it. Lynch law excused them according to Robert A. Gibson. In the article the Negro Holocaust: Lynching and Race Riots in the United States, 1880-1950 Gibson states, “Lynchings—open public murders of individuals suspected of crime conceived and carried out more or less spontaneously by a mob —seem to have been an American invention." In Lynch-Law, the first scholarly investigation of lynching, written in 1905, author James E. Cutler stated that "'lynching is a criminal practice which is peculiar to the United States.’ “ This meant that lynching was justified back then so whites could get away with a lot of the things they did. The lynchings specifically targeted “individuals suspected of a crime conceived and carried out."  Individuals who aren’t even criminals but are suspected as criminal by the conception of white supremacy. This is the problem. It didn’t matter if the lynchings were justified or not because whites took the law into their own hands and lynched black Americans. Lynching was a “criminal practice” says James E. Cutler. The only people back in the Jim Crow era who were conceived as “criminals” by whites were black people, so any white person could kill a black person and say he was a criminal. This is similar to what we see today. Police officers and people who contact police see in their eyes a black person doing something that they think is criminal. This commonly results in a black person being harassed or killed.

Police officers are racially profiling black people, and it’s leading to deaths that happened in the year of 2015. According to, 1 of 3 black people are killed by the police who are identified as unarmed. Unarmed black people are killed at a rate of 5 times greater than that of an unarmed white person. These black people who are unarmed could be accused of a crime and shot by police from simple phone calls that aren’t accurate most of the time. Terence Crutcher was recently shot in September 2016. He was shot by Officer Betty Shelby down in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In the video in which Crutcher was killed, he was walking towards his car with hands up in the air. Crutcher’s hands were up in the air the whole time and was still shot  by Officer Shelby. This man’s car breaking down in middle road got him killed.  He was killed instead of receiving the help and the assistance of police enforcement that could of easily saved his life.

Racial profiling can affect the lives of the people who are victims of it. Racially profiling someone could psychologically damage someone. The American Psychological Association states that racially profiling someone could lead to them to have “ perceptions post-traumatic stress disorder and other forms of stress-related disorders, of race-related threats and failure to use available community resources.” Unfortunately, many black people and other groups of people who are racially profiled sometimes and possibly respond to this racial bias to police enforcement in an unpleasant or violent manner because they’ve been harassed, provoked and stopped by police officers who believe they are criminals based on their race. For an example, Charles Kinsey was not even a suspect and was shot in the leg by North Miami police officer Jonathan Aledda. Kinsey was helping his autistic patient when the police responded to a call that a man was trying to kill himself. Not only was Kinsey shot and handcuffed,  but his patient was traumatised after these events took place. Kinsey has flashbacks of what happen to him as he said in an ABC interview. Racial profiling in this case affected both Kinsey and his patient. An innocent black man was wounded and in shock and his patient traumatized. Even when Kinsey was remaining calm and trying to tell the officers that his patient has a toy truck and not a gun, he was shot 3 times by an “accident”. You don’t let off three rounds and accidently shoot someone and then handcuff the victim when they didn’t do anything wrong. How do you think Mr. Kinsey is going to deal with police enforcement in the future?  Even when he was being rational with them and cooperating with them, he ended up being shot at and handcuffed. This and similar events are what lead to disorders like post traumatic stress, and we need to fix the policing going on in the communities and the police who do things like this.

Back in the early 2000s, Anti-Racism activist Jim Wise studied and proved racial profiling  to be ineffective to crime solving. Jim Wise informs us in his article The Color Of Deception : Race ,Crime and sloppy social that the “department data suggests, blacks commit somewhere between 25-30 percent of violent crime in most years (23 percent in 2002), to profile blacks for crime will result in police being wrong, between 70-75 percent of the time. “ Jim Wise also says “blacks are only 13.5 percent of drug users, while non-Hispanic whites are over 70 percent of users (16). So to profile blacks for drugs is to guarantee little success in actually uncovering drug crimes.” It is still irrational to use racial bias to solve crimes according to Wise since it disproves blacks always being associated with drugs. Wise proves,  based on data in 2002, that non Hispanic whites are more likely to have drug possession. So cops who profile the same people over and over for cimininal activities is ineffective and irrational. This means the cops aren't doing their job correctly, and this is unfair for the people who pay taxes toward policing to see their people shot unarmed and harassed because of police personal biases. Jim Wise informs us “profiling is not the typical method for uncovering serious already-committed crimes anyway, since solving such crimes logically involves using incident-specific information. Profiling is, instead, too often done as a way to uncover crimes, such as drug possession,…” Profiling is not police work and should be dealt with because it violates people’s rights.

Police officers have an important job in this country and that is to protect citizens. It’s not true that all police are racist and racially profile a specific group of people. There are a lot of police officers who do their job and protect communities. However, the police officers who don’t do their job right because of personal biases and are being excused. It is a problem. Will Stacks made a video  in 2015 about a white police officer who stopped him and didn’t punish him for improper use of the median. He says he was polite to the officer, and the officer gave him a warning. Stack was wrong yet this police man let him off. Stack says in the video that people need to stop putting labels on others and see them for who they are. Just because police officers shoot someone, it doesn’t mean they are an innocent victim. He says just because you're black doesn’t mean you're a victim and just because you are white doesn't mean you're racist. Stacks is right and made some valid points. We shouldn’t label people. We still have to understand that there is a problem when there are police out there who are killing black lives over and over again inappropriately and not punished for it. It doesn’t matter if you're innocent or not. When people of color were getting lynched in the Jim Crow era, it didn’t matter if they were innocent or not. They only thing that did matter was that if that black person was a criminal in the perspective of white supremacy. Bias cops are violating equal protection under the law and if a specific group is being violated, and murder is at a disproportionate rate and absolutely nothing is being done to stop it, most black people are victims of racial profiling. No, not all police are racist and not all blacks are victims. What about the police who are racist and why do we repeatedly see black people being killed and not being treated like citizens? Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana was killed by police officer exercising the 2nd Amendment. He was killed for having a gun. Sterling’s past and criminal record have absolutely nothing to do with his rights being violated by police officers who pinned him down while he couldn't breathe and was shot multiple times in his chest. Police officers aren't even supposed to do that. We need justice for those whose rights are violated. Cops who violate citizenship aren’t forced to do their job correctly especially in their position of authority.

We need justice and protection under the law or else we will continue to see these unlawful killings for the racially profiled.  One solution is better police training and community policing. According to the article A New Strategy for Training Police Officers - the PTO Program reads “ This problem based learning strategy, titled the Police Training Officer (PTO) Program, institutionalized adult learning theory and problem solving tools into a process that encouraged new officers to think using a proactive mindset, enabling the identification of and solution to problems within their communities. ” Adults  are encouraging new officers to solve situations better. Officers knowing  a community will mean people won’t be bias about people and police will know the communities better too. We don't have enough of this and it could help stop some racial profiling. Equal protection under the law is being overlooked especially for African Americans. If we are citizens of the U.S.A., we should have the same protection under law enforcement as stated in the Constitution or else we aren't citizens of this country.



Research sources

Wise,Tim. “Race crime and sloppy-social-science”

Brennan, Christopher. “Florida police commander accused of conflicting statements in Charles Kinsey will not face charges”

Gibson A, Robert. “The Negro Holocaust Lynching and Race Riots in the United States,1880-1950”

Sinyangwe ,Samuel. “Police killed more than 100 unarmed black people in 2015”

Fox News. “'Not All Officers Are Racist': Black Man's Defense of Police Goes Viral”

Rushing S, Patricia. “A New Strategy for Training Police Officers - the PTO Program”

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