Share
Explore BrainMass

The Practice of Racial Profiling

The practice of racial profiling (and its effects)

See this article prepared for the ACLU which reports on stop and arrest data collected from the L.A.P.D during 2003 - 2004: A Study of Racially Disparate Outcomes in the LAPD. The authors found that minorities are stopped, frisked, and arrested at higher rates than their white counterpart

Help with discussion:

•What evidence have you uncovered that either supports of refutes the article provided?

•How might law enforcement interpret theses results? (find out by asking a law enforcement officer!)

•Are there any circumstances under which racial profiling is an acceptable practice?

Solution Preview

Consider this a rough outline concerning one opinion on the matter.

What evidence have you uncovered that either supports of refutes the article provided?
How might law enforcement interpret theses results?
Are there any circumstances under which racial profiling is an acceptable practice?

Pdf of the report here:
http://islandia.law.yale.edu/ayres/Ayres%20LAPD%20Report.pdf

Racial profiling is a myth. The facts on crime, the methods of the researchers and the composition of the LAPD shows that the ACLU report is seriously flawed. It has earned many subsequent refutations on statistical grounds. The ACLU has come to the same conclusions in every major American city without exception. The real issue is that there is no benchmark by which to measure if "too many" of one group are stopped or frisked. Using population figures is flawed for many reasons (see below). There is no explanation as to why the people were stopped, unless one either argues a) people are pulled over for no reason, which no one claims, or b) that poor driving is more common in non-white communities. This can be the only benchmark, which the report ignores (cf MacDonald, 2004).

Much of the crime in Los Angeles city is gang related (roughly half). Yet, out of 463 identified gangs, 11 are white, with a total of 600 members. Hispanics alone have 246 gangs with almost 22,000 members. The city of Los Angeles and the California Department of Justice refused to collect and more demographic information on gangs after 2005 (which itself, begs an explanation). The LAPD itself has about 9,000 members. Whites make up about 30% of LA's urban population.

While the report states that disparities in crime are controlled for, there is no evidence for that in the report itself. The report claims that this would not be important regardless, and, probably, there is no evidence that there is a racial dimension of crime (which is from the report itself, see pages 4-5). The refusal to deal with gang demographics makes this assumption a serious flaw. Even ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses the practice of racial profiling.

$2.19