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Profiling

  • Date Submitted: 12/06/2013 12:27 PM
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Perspectives on Racial Profiling
Homeland Security
Professor Richard Hughbank
Criminal Justice 4475
By:
November 10, 2012

Over the last two decades, the ethical dilemma surrounding racial profiling has come to the forefront of the political arena.   Law enforcement has been accused of targeting individuals for suspicion of crimes based on their race, ethnicity, religion, and/or national origin.   Many citizens take issue with profiling as an infringement on one’s civil rights, but federal courts disagree.   In the case of Terry v. Ohio in 1968, the US Supreme Court ruled that the 4th amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure, does not apply if there is reasonable suspicion that a crime is involved (Terry v. Ohio, 2012).   In the next three paragraphs, this paper will discuss three major sub-groups affected by racial profiling and attempt to represent both schools of thought, for and against, such an investigative tool.  
Since the World Trade Center’s first bombing in 1993 and the subsequent events of “9/11,” people of Muslim descent have become targets of racial profiling.   Ironically, Ramsey Yousef, the mastermind behind the 1993 bombing is the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, organizer of the 9/11 attacks.   Many may venture to say that if racial profiling had been used to identify the familial, ethnic, and social ties between these two men, American lives may have been spared.   As of 2001,   58% of Americans favored “requiring Arabs, including those who are U.S. citizens, to undergo special, more intensive security checks before boarding airplanes in the U.S.” as a means to prevent terrorism (Johnson, Brazier, Forrest, Ketelhut, Mason, & Mitchell, 2001).  
Some may argue that the investigation of Muslims is an act stemming from American fear and ignorance; however, one cannot deny the multiple plots of airport terrorism foiled by racial profiling since 2001.   Two popular examples include Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a.k.a. the...

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