Is Racial Profiling A Necessary Evil?

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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My Dad, a male Caucasian, was taking a short cut in a predominately black neighborhood a few months ago. He pulled up to a stop sign, and he swears he came to a complete stop, but he was pulled over by a cop who was watching that intersection. Two black police officers got out of the police car and went through the routine procedure for pulling someone over. The officer gave my Dad a ticket and let him go on his way. What was the real reason they pulled him over? Was it just a routine traffic stop or something more? If this was something more, could it be possible that the cops were using racial profiling? Was the traffic stop an excuse to get more information about what my Dad was doing in a black neighborhood? Perhaps the police officer looked at the situation this way: a white man driving through a known drug dealing area that was primarily black was out of context.

If the police officer was using racial profiling then he was using the best tool he could for that situation and that hardly makes it evil.

If my Dad was a subject of racial profiling, is that so terrible? The police officers were just doing their jobs, preventing and controlling crime. One way the police can do this more effectively is to use profiling. Profiling is when the police stop and question a person because they fit the characteristics of a person who is or could be a criminal. If you talked to my Dad you would not categorize him as a criminal, but the police just saw a white man driving through a black neighborhood. To be effective in controlling crime, in that situation, his race should be enough to make the police...