The Racially Biased Policing

The police agencies across the country are under intense pressure from the community-based organizations, human rights activists, and the public to explain the current accusations linking it with excessive use of force on members of the minority groups, especially the blacks and Indians. The critics point out that the police actions amount to bias-based policing and racial profiling, but the situation is different because the police service is charged with the role of safeguarding property and life, irrespective of individual background, race, social position, and ethnicity (Lynch, 2002).

Organizations, such as the NAACP, FADE, and Southern Coalition for Social Justice make their allegations based on the report released in 2012 by Frank Derek at the University of North Carolina. NAACP alleged recently that the current situation is troubling because it represents racial profiling, lack of accountability, transparency, and delinquency within the police agencies countrywide. In other words, the human rights organizations observe that the law-enforcing agency is broken and is need of the repair.

However, these claims are inaccurate because the agency aims at making the American society a safe place for each person to enjoy his or her rights and freedoms. Studies conducted by independent research firms suggest that there is no persuasive evidence confirming a culture, structure, or practice of racial profiling. For instance, Engel, Calnon and Benard (2002) concluded their study that traffic stops are never proportional to racial distribution of the jurisdiction’s populace.

Friedell and Scott (2001) noted in their study that the outcome of the previous studies relied on tests and correlates that lacked theories meaning they are incapable of offering an understanding into the police decision-making processes during arrests. The two scholars note further that the police have the capacity of instituting internal checks and balances to eliminate the problem of racial bias in offering policing services to the community given the fact the agencies in the country have the best training programs.

To them, the two-pronged challenge include the racial bias among police officers and the perceptions of the members of the public on racially biased policing.

Recently, the police agencies have set up internal controls with the major aim of eliminating racial profiling. In particular, the agency trains its officers on handling people during searches where racial discrimination is highly discouraged. The police service works with various community-based organizations to facilitate diversity through training of senior officers.

Officers embrace community policing in their daily where those joining the service are instructed to identify and know the community in which they work and aspire to work with leaders, as this enables connecting with people without conflicts (Lundman, 2004). The police cars are fitted with cameras that monitor the operations of police in roads.

Any police officer found to have violated the rights of the individual is likely to face the law. Before an officer proceeds to search a premise belonging to a black or any individual believed to be from a minority group, the officer must produce a letter to confirm he or she has permission from the senior office (Engel, 2005).

This serves to reduce the chances of unwarranted searches that sometimes lead to discrimination. The police service works with dedication and commitment to establish strong relationships with the community with an aim of reducing the prevalence rates of crime in the American society.

The agency is always concerned with the public perceptions because it aspires to serve the community in the most satisfying way. Even though evidence on racially biased policing might be missing, the police agencies have internal mechanisms that aim at eradicating the problem and promoting fairness in making arrests and handling suspects.

For any public organization to thrive, it has to satisfy the public through providing quality services and following the provisions of the constitution in executing its key mandates. The constitution does not permit any forms of discriminations based on race, educational levels, social rankings, and ethnicities.


Engel, R.S. (2005). Citizen’s perceptions of destructive a procedural injustice during traffic stops with police. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 42(1), 445-459.

Engel, R.S., Calnon, J.M., & Benard, T.J. (2002). Theory and racial profiling: shortcomings and future directions in research. Justice Quarterly, 19(2), 249-301.

Friedell, L., & Scott, M. (2001). Law enforcement agency responses to racially biased policing and the perceptions of its practice. Justice Quarterly, 3(1), 38-49.

Lundman, R.J. (2004). Driver Race, Ethnicity, and Gender and Citizen Reports of Vehicle Searches by Police and Vehicle Search Hits: Toward a Triangulated Scholarly Understanding. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 94(2), 309-349.

Lynch, J.P. (2002). Using Citizen Surveys to Produce Information on the Police: The Present and Potential Uses of the National Crime Victimization Survey. Justice Research and Policy, 4(3), 62-69.

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