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Racial Profiling

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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Racial Profiling & Police in Canada

Secondary Research

Abskortski, Milen. "The Pluralism Project at Harvard University." Harvard University. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

* racial profiling refers to the discriminatory practise of law enforcement that is designed to target individuals for suspicion of crime based on his or her race, ethnicity, beliefs, religion or national origin

History of Racial Profiling & Police in Canada

Policing over the Past 40 Years * extends from systematic issues debated in court processes to prison practises and routine aspects of policing outside of legal institutions

* aallegations that the Canadian criminal justice system is racially biased, were made at various junctures by different groups over the past several decades

* Since the early 1900’s, racial profiling by the police has been highly dominant. Public complaints, legal actions, empirical research and a number of high-profile incidents had brought several police practices to the forefront of the debates on racial bias of policing in Canada

Stereotypes Associated with Racial Profiling

Stereotyping becomes a particular concern when people act on their stereotypical views in a way that affects others. This is what leads to profiling. Although anyone can experience profiling, racialized persons are primarily affected.

Typically, but not always, profiling is carried out by people in positions of authority, and can occur in many contexts involving safety, security and public protection issues. Some examples of profiling presented include: * law enforcement official assumes someone is more likely to have committed a crime because he is African Canadian * school personnel treat a Latino child’s behavior as an infraction under its zero tolerance policy while the same action by another child might be seen as normal "kids’ play" * a private security guard follows a shopper because she believes the shopper is more likely to steal from the store * an employer wants a stricter security clearance for a Muslim employee after September 11th * a bar refuses to serve Aboriginal patrons because of an assumption that they will get drunk and rowdy * a criminal justice system official refuses bail to a Latin American person because of a belief that people from her country are violent * a landlord asks a Chinese student to move out because she believes that the tenant will expose her to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) even though the tenant has not been to any hospitals, facilities or countries associated with a high risk of SARS. Hitchens, Maldit. "Racial Profiling." Racial Profiling. Web. 2 Dec. 2015. Facts about Racial Profiling in Canada

1. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime. * Individuals of color have a high degree number of encounters with law enforcement, indicating that racial profiling continues to be a problem. A report by the Department of Justice found that blacks and Hispanics were approximately three times more likely to be searched during a traffic stop than white motorists. African Americans were twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police

2. According to recent data by the Department of Education, African American students are arrested far more often than their white classmates. * data showed that 96,000 students were arrested and 242,000 referred to law enforcement by schools during the 2009-10 school year. Of those students, black and Hispanic students made up more than 70 percent of arrested or referred students. * Harsh school punishments, from suspensions to arrests, have led to high numbers of youth of color coming into contact with the juvenile-justice system at an early age.

3. The war on drugs has been waged primarily in communities of color where people of color are more likely to receive higher offenses. * According to the Human Rights Watch, people of color are more likely to use or sell illegal drugs than whites and they have higher rate of arrests. * African Americans comprise 14 percent of regular drug users but are 37 percent of those arrested for drug offenses. * From 1980 to 2007 about one in three of the 25.4 million adults arrested for drugs was African American.

4. Once convicted, black offenders receive longer sentences compared to white offenders. * The U.S. Sentencing Commission stated that in the federal system black offenders receive sentences that are 10 percent longer than white offenders for the same crimes. * The Sentencing Project reports that African Americans are 21 percent more likely to receive mandatory-minimum sentences than white defendants and are 20 percent more like to be sentenced to prison.

5. Studies show that police are more likely to pull over and frisk blacks or Latinos than whites. In New York City, 80% of the stops made were blacks and Latinos, and 85% of those people were frisked, compared to a mere 8% of white people stopped.

The Existence of Racial Profiling & Policing in Canada

* The Ontario government recognizes racial profiling as an issue in Canada. But through many perceptions, it is not actually that big of a deal since we live in a pluralistic and very diverse country today. * Many different religious minorities including aboriginals show that the Canadian government treats everyone equally * "We do not tolerate racism or racial profiling in the Toronto Police Service.”- Chief of Toronto police

Existence and acceptance of the authority in the past

* In 1988, the Solicitor General of Ontario appointed Clare Lewis as chair of the Race Relations and Policing Task Force. The Task Force’s 1989 report concluded that visible minorities believed they were policed differently: “They do not believe that they are policed fairly and they made a strong case for their view which cannot be ignored.” * The Task Force found that racial minorities would like to participate in law enforcement and crime prevention but are “denied integration into community life when labelled as crime prone.” * In 1992, the Ontario government also established the Commission on Systemic Racism in the Ontario Criminal Justice System. This Commission studied all facets of criminal justice and in December 1995 issued a 450 page report with recommendations

Harcourt, Bernard E. Against Prediction Profiling, Policing, and Punishing in an Actuarial Age. Chicago: U of Chicago, 2007. Print.
Alternatives Being Used to Eliminate Racial Profiling in Canada
The effects of racial profiling raise significant human rights issues to which society must respond. Canada cannot afford to allow racial profiling to be tolerated and practiced in Ontario. The cost is simply too great. It is important to take action on this particular issue. * The Human Rights Commission is proposing some measures for action to address racial profiling.

1. Police services across the province should install cameras in police cruisers to allow for monitoring the interaction between the police and public. 2. Police officers and private security guards should wear name badges that are clearly displayed. 3. Organizations or institutions that have, or are alleged to have a problem with racial profiling should provide new staff with sufficient support to ensure that they learn appropriate practices and not resort to racial profiling due to the stresses of the job. 4. In conjunction with local communities, police services should develop educational materials, particularly aimed at youth, explaining citizens’ rights.

Eddins, Maynard. "Police Racial Profiling 'corrosive': Ontario Human Rights Commission -" Macleansca. 11 June 2015. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.
Ontario puts new rules on carding and banning random stops

Ontario's Liberal government is proposing new regulations that would ban the random stopping of citizens by police — known as carding — and require officers to provide a written record of any such exchanges.

* police will not be allowed to stop people based on how they look or in which neighborhood they live, but there would be "narrow exemptions" in the rules to cover routine traffic stops or when someone is being arrested or detained.

* Officers must also inform a citizen that a stop is voluntary and they have the right to walk away. They will also be required to provide a reason for the stop, documentation about it afterwards, and must inform citizens how to file a complaint or access information obtained during the stop.

* "We're saying: one, [a carding stop] cannot be random or arbitrary nor can it be based on race or the neighborhood you live in," – Canadian minister of transportation

Panwins, Karly. "The Existence of Racial Profiling." Ontario Human Rights Commission. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.
Incidents of Racial Profiling
Shooting of Albert Johnson in his home in 1979

* On August 26, 1979, Albert Johnson, a black Jamaican immigrant, was shot to death by Metropolitan Toronto Police in his home. * Two out of three police officers stood trial for the manslaughter death and were later acquitted. * Johnson was known to the police as he suffered from mental illness. Toronto’s Black community was galvanized and a protest demonstration was organized by 32 groups.

Post 9/11 Police Discrimination

* October 11, 2004 in Minneapolis where a female hijab-wearing Muslim student of Somali background was pulled over by police. The policemen searched her car and threw her belongings onto the street, including her Islamic books and the Qur'an. They then left her to pick them up by herself. * June 10th, 2004 in Colorado where a Muslim family's house was raided by the IRS and armed FBI agents who drew their guns. The family was told that an IRS investigation was being conducted and the agents proceeded to ask them questions such as "Are you Shiite or Sunni?" and questions about "Hamas, Hezbollah, and suicide bombings." They were also asked "If the US went to war with Iran, which side would you be on?"

"Home Page — Statistics Canada." Government of Canada, Statistics Canada, Racial Profiling. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

* Graph clearly shows how racial profiling and carding by the Canadian police is dominantly low because of the increasing level of diversity and rules put In place by the new liberal government.

* Graph clearly exhibits the likelihood of being stopped in different areas if one is black.

* Shows how police carding is decreasing in Canada because more white individuals are being stopped than black individuals which was more dominant in the past. But in the United States it still seems to be an issue.

Works Cited
Abskortski, Milen. "The Pluralism Project at Harvard University." Harvard University. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.
Eddins, Maynard. "Police Racial Profiling 'corrosive': Ontario Human Rights Commission -" Macleansca. 11 June 2015. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.
Harcourt, Bernard E. Against Prediction Profiling, Policing, and Punishing in an Actuarial Age. Chicago: U of Chicago, 2007. Print.
Hitchens, Maldit. "Racial Profiling." Racial Profiling. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.
"Home Page — Statistics Canada." Government of Canada, Statistics Canada, Racial Profiling. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.
Panwins, Karly. "The Existence of Racial Profiling." Ontario Human Rights Commission. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

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