The pervasive use of racial profiling as a policing tactic is an example of a social justice issue that is in need of reform. According to the World English Dictionary, racial profiling is defined as, an assumption of criminality among ethnic groups
: the alleged policy of some police to attribute criminal intentions to members of some ethnic groups and to stop and question them in disproportionate numbers without probable cause. A concrete example of this practice is the “Stop and Frisk” tactic used by the New York City Police Department (NYPD). During 2010, NYPD made over 600,000 such stops. Eighty seven
percent of those stopped were either black or Hispanic (<a href=”//www.examiner.com/article/stop-and-frisk-stats-place-new-york-atop-civil-rights-violators”>http://www.examiner.com/article/stop-and-frisk-stats-place-new-york-atop-civil-rights-violators</a>). The recent Trevon Martin case has made the issue of racial profiling a part of our national dialogue.
17, 2012, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) held a hearing on racial profiling The hearing (the first in the Senate since before 9/11) explored how profiling harms law enforcement; the different faces of racial profiling, including state immigration laws in Alabama and Arizona that subject Hispanic Americans to heightened scrutiny; discriminatory law enforcement against African Americans; and anti-terrorism efforts that target American Muslims. The hearings attracted national news coverage and an overflow attendance in the hearing room. NASW submitted testimony for Sen. Durbin’s hearing and in support of passage of the End Racial Profiling Act of 2011 (S-1670. More detailed can be obtained on Sen. Durbin’s webpage (<a href=”http://durbin.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID=a8191909-fc81-4f66-bbb5-285e763f35e8″>http://durbin.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID=a8191909-fc81-4f66-bbb5-285e763f35e8</a>).
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