Black males are victim to several counts of beating and gunshots from police every year. In 1992 Rodney King was a victim of racial profiling and police brutality. Even today cops get away with illegal brutality. In 2012 Trayvon Martin was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer for being black and looking guilty. In an excerpt from The New York Times Lafraniere & Lehren report “Officers were more likely to stop black drivers for no discernible reason.” Racial profiling is very real and is still happening everywhere in the world but it is a tricky subject so we are going to go over it a bit.
Racial profiling is the act of targeting a person because of their race. It is fairly easy to understand how it works, but so difficult to understand the situation in real life.
Police have this power to put fear into people from a position of power which can be incredibly dangerous to the regular citizen in some places of the U.S.. Their duty as police officers is to protect and serve, and they have been doing it for a very long time, but some police were brought up in cultures where minorities were thought as scum. Some of these cops have, in the past, made big mistakes. Like the Rodney King case. Cases similar to this usually make national news, so everybody sees what is happening and the opinions proceed. If cops in Los Angeles get caught on film unjustly beating a black male. Black males in Minnesota will think less of cops in their own neighborhoods and towns making it more succeptable everywhere in the country and even more risky for cops. Racial profiling hasn’t just occurred in a couple extreme cases across the U.S. It’s happened many times in every state in the whole country in smaller and larger scales. But the times change and these things can pass. We’ve had a black president, Barack Obama breaking a huge cultural barrier for African Americans. What’s to say racial profiling won’t come to end.
Racial Profiling Cases
An excerpt from The New York Times tells a story of two brothers on their way to a barber class in Greensboro, N.C. when they got pulled over by the cops in their black pickup. Two Police officers had puled them over for some minor infractions, like expired plates. The African American male driver was restraining his brother who was confused whether or not to get out of the car when a police officer stunned his brother with a taser and the other cop pulled him from the drivers side of the vehicle and tased him too. The man fell face first into the ground chipping his teeth, and splitting his upper lip. After the traffic stop happened the man had four traffic tickets, and a charge of assaulting an officer.
This List from the “Rolling Stone” magazine gives very good examples of Racial Profiling.
- Amadou Diallo
- Patrick Dorismond
- Ouzmane Zongo
- Timothy Stansbury
- Sean Bell
- Oscar Grant
- Aiyana Stanley-Jones
- Ramarley Graham
- Tamon Robinson
- Rekia Boyd
- Kimani Gray
The First man on this list Amadou Diallo was walking home to his apartment in The Bronx (1999). When police officers stopped him at his door. The police officers claimed to have seen him reaching for a gun. In reality he just had his wallet in his hand which the police officers had made the mistake of identification because it was dark outside. The reason this case is so popular was because the police didnt just shoot him a couple times to stop him from doing anything and control the situation. These police officers shot 41 bullets at one unarmed man in a residential area. This fact caused a media uproar and the creation of a song, Bruce Springsteen’s, “American Skin(41 shots)”.
The cops were found not guilty and were aquitted for their actions! One of the officers even remained on the force and was allowed to use a gun for the NYPD. This was 18 years ago and is still remembered by Associations like Black Lives Matter. And that adds another point of interest on Racial Profiling. No matter how long ago one major event of racial profiling was it is never forgiven.
I asked my good freind Kevin an African American male
living in Elk River a question about Racial profiling:
Q: Have you ever been followed around a store because of your skin color?
A: “Yea, definitly, it happens all the time.”
Later in the conversation he stated, “It is very uncomfortable to talk about.”
So if my freinds in real life deal with these problems in Minnesota, a very Democratic state. It is highly likely these situations of racial profiling happen everywhere else in the country.
Racial Profiling and Media
A new form of protection against racial profiling that seems to be popular is getting police officers on video as they do their job when they pull you over or if you get stopped while walking. It may subdue the officer into not breaking the law and risking another account of racial profiling.
I personally watched over fifty videos similar in many ways as this video of a college student that describes himself being unlawfully harrassed by a police officer.
A similarity in almost all the videos was how shady the apprehended men or women were. In this video the man is very upset and rambles negatively about how unfairly he is being treated by a cop and seems to tell an untruthful story as the cop states what she saw, he forcefully shouts over her and use terms like, “Racist”, and “you are very afraid” to verbally overpower the police officer and make the scene seem different than what it really is. Conveniently throwing the officer under the bus, making himslef seem like a victim. But all the videos were at a slightly twisted side of the story making it seem possible that they were being racially profiled. And I believe these videos truly dont portray the reality of each situation. Due to the lack of evidence in the videos the people filming can talk and influence the viewers in to believing a false story that they are being treated unfairly.
With the problems going on in the world it seems easy to belive that these things can happen as the person describes it in the video but as they continue the cops always seem calm, not treating people unfairly or being racist or prejudiced towards the apprehended. In the end it just doesnt seem true in the videos that they are being racially profiled. The cops in these videos are just doing there jobs.
Any case of Racial Profiling is wrong on an officers part. But not all of these cases are racial profiling. Just becasue a man is black and gets pulled over he could say that he is being racially profiled on a video and people will belive him because of how he describes the situation. From my experience many black males are very influential and passionate, yet opinionated speakers and I have only met a small fraction of African American men. The man in this video has a fairly influential tone and posture that helps him drive his point home and make it seem like he is telling the truth because he is used to people believing him, when in reality if you are aware of this type of powerful and influential speaking that happens in real life situations you can understand or see past the fakeness of a situation and understand the reality of the situation. And in reality it seems it’s not all it piped up to be in this particular video. In either option there are still negative effects on these minorities. And it is sure not changing very fast. After all that was covered I still believe Racial Profiling is a true and harsh reality in this country. And it is still a crime, but I think serious situations such as Amadou Diallo and the two brothers from Greensboro N.C. happen less than recently portrayed.
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