If this broader definition is considered, then racial profiling is an extremely common and regular activity of the police. According to an American lawyer, Randall Kennedy, “racial profiling occurs whenever police routinely use race as a negative signal that, along with an accumulation of other signals, causes an officer to react with suspicion” (Kops, 2006, pp. 9-10). History in brief The history of racial profiling includes investigation of the roots which gave rise to racial profiling in America. The research dates back to 1992-1994 when James Ruiz who was a faculty of the Criminal Justice Department at the University of Southwest Louisiana.
In order to prepare for his lectures he surfed through various newspaper articles during which he noticed certain patterns of arrests occurring through months which were not normal. Firstly, most of the arrests were made for benign causes like changing lanes or following a car too closely. Secondly, most of the arrests took place in the eastbound side of I-10. Thirdly, significantly very few arrests were made from Louisiana as majority of arrests were made from every other state. Fourthly, a large percentage of those who were arrested were Hispanic.
The final observation was that most arrests were made by Criminal Patrol Unit. Ruiz was with the New Orleans Police Department and hence had the authority to regulate traffic in I-10. He has never experienced motorists violating rules like changing lanes or following others. Most traffic violations that happened were either reckless driving or driving in drunken state. Since traffic violation is one major reason that subjected cars to search by police, therefore the above observations attracted the attention of Ruiz. The excessive number of arrests made in I-10 forced him to believe that either people on that side were more prone to violate traffic rules or else they were subjected to racial discrimination.
The police stationed at I-10 were mainly from Louisiana State and they used several tactics. They positioned themselves in the manner so that oncoming vehicles would slow down and can be easily visible so that they can identify vehicles from states other than Louisiana. They would then stop those vehicles that were driven by black people and would summon dogs to sniff the exterior of the car.
If in no way police could find any reason to further harass the black drivers, then they would simply revert to waiting for their next victim (Ruiz et al. , 2010, pp. 405-407). Experiences of African Americans This section includes the data of a research study conducted on racial profiling.
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