Race and crime
In most American societies there is a belief that most black people are more dangerous and get into criminal activities more than the white people. This has been a trend since the colonial era. In America race and crime have been linked and seen as if they relate in a way. This belief was first supported by racist ideologies that viewed the minorities who were the blacks as criminals. This information was later support by investigating between the crimes committed by the black and also the number of the blacks in prison compared to the whites. In the United States, while the African-Americans are between 12 to 13% of the total population, the blacks accounted for more than half of those arrested from robbery and murder cases in the year 1990. This has led to the racial minorities, mostly the black people being labeled criminals despite some of them being law abiding. Sometimes the law enforcers can be discriminating when they seem to over question the blacks in their daily patrols. This might cause the black person to sometimes feel frustrated from the discrimination. (Gabbidon, & Greene, 2012).
Most of the research done on the race refers to the blacks. This was as a result of them being the largest minority group in the United States and thus most visible. This was also caused by the blacks being over presented in crime and justice data. (Gabbidon, & Greene, 2012).
Racial profiling and police subculture
Racial profiling refers to the behavior of subjecting certain people in a society to increased scrutiny due to their race rather than their actions. Law enforcers such as the police have been reported to be contributors of racial profiling. The victims of racial profiling are left feeling harassed and get a sense of injustice and insecurity. For a solution on social profiling to be found it is important to find out if the profiling was due to an officer being racially prejudiced or they are unintended result of certain organizational practice. Some police boards and police officers argue that racial profiling does not exist. This is done as a way of protecting their prestige and authority (Satzewich, & Shaffir, 2009).
Police subcultures refer to specific set of beliefs, attitudes and behaviors possessed by those in authority when conducting their daily activities. It is suggested that concepts of a police subculture offers the most credible backdrop for use in understanding racial profiling. In some cases police view racial profiling as one in a series of activities defining their job (Satzewich, & Shaffir, 2009).
The law enforcers should try to reduce violence between the police officers and the citizens. This would result into a better relationship between the police officers and the community they work for. In some police agencies the use of force is viewed as abnormal and thus when force is used the case receives a lot of administrative attention. In some other cases the use of force is viewed as a normal way of resolving conflicts. Use of force in resolving conflict especially in the minority communities has led to misunderstanding between the police and the community (Sizer, & Saltzman, 2009).
There are strategies required for dealing with law enforcement subculture and racial profiling. Recruiting members of the minority groups would be important. This will help the minority groups feel appreciated and also encourage them to develop a better relationship with the law enforcers. The minority group members recruited in the law enforcement can help discourage discrimination of members of their community. Recruitment of members of the minority group can also help other members feel appreciated and in case of a problem with the law enforcers such members would feel free and have the courage to express themselves (Sizer, & Saltzman, 2009).
Another strategy that can be used to deal with law enforcement and racial profiling is community involvement. Community organizations should be established or expanded to bridge the relationship between the law enforcement group and the community. This will help improve community relations. The community will serve the law enforcers and the police officers as long as they are well involved with the community activities. The law enforcers are viewed as members of the community and thus improving the relationship between the police and the minority groups. From this the members of the community will be ready to work hand in hand with the police to solve security issues that might be affecting the community. The police department also being like the members of the community will find it hard to treat such people as strangers as they still need to maintain a good relationship. This will help reduce the feeling of being discriminated (Sizer, & Saltzman, 2009).
Due to the poor relationship with the police in the previous years, the police should have the patience to wait for members of the minority groups to learn to trust them. To help the members develop better relationship, the officers from the organization should try to attend community meetings and peace building events and talk with the people on the importance of having a good relationship with the law enforcers (Sizer, & Saltzman, 2009).
Gabbidon, S. L., & Greene, H. T. (2012). Race and crime. Sage Publications
Satzewich, V., & Shaffir, W. (2009). Racism versus Professionalism: Claims and Counter-claims about Racial Profiling 1. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 51(2), 199-226.
Sizer, R., & Saltzman, D. (2009). PLAN TO ADDRESS RACIAL PROFILING (1st ed.). Portland: Portland Police Bureau. Retrieved from https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/article/230887
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