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A Comparison: Racial Profiling

To protect and serve; any American familiar with the police knows this pledge.
Yet each of these individuals who have heard this has in the last ten years been exposed to
several other things: the Rodney King beating, the Mumia Abu-Jamal case, and countless
other incidents of police brutality towards minorities.These events are evidence of the
fact that some police officers are more likely to discriminate against blacks than whites.
But the truth of the matter is that the police are just as likely to commit these same acts
against hispanics as they are against blacks.
The act of discriminating against minorities by being quicker to accuse or even
beat them (which is so often done by "friendly neighborhood police officers") is called
racial profiling.And it's illegal, at least in theory.But to assume that black suspects are
the only minority that are victims of this crime is a severe misconception.In fact, Nueva
York's Seventh Annual Survey on police and quality of life reveals that a shocking 84
percent believe that police brutality is a serious problem in the city police department, and
54 percent characterize police discrimination against minorities as "widespread"(2).
For anyone who has seen the tapes of the Rodney King beating, it is not necessary
to demonstrate that racial profiling exists in cities like Los Angeles.But in order to show
how racial profiling is equally as problematic for hispanics, one does not need to see any
tapes, but only look at some facts.According to the Danny Davis, a writer for the
webzine Politico, an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) report, blacks make up "less
than 15 percent of the population in Illinois and take approximately 10 percent of the personal vehicle trips. But they comprise 23 percent of the searches conducted by an
Illinois State Police drug interdiction program."

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