It’s time racial profiling legislations are enforced in Boston

by Florence C. on October 25, 2014 - 3:43pm

The article “Study finds Boston police target African-Americans disproportionately” written by Marina Carver at CNN on October 9th this year, denounces the fact that there is a large discrepancy in the amount of blacks being stopped and frisked in comparison to the predominantly white homogenous population. This overrepresentation of African-Americans involved in police inquiries is not justified because in truth they only embody a small fraction of the population; nor is it representative of a group supposedly more susceptible to have criminal conduct. That being said, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), this on-going circumstance has proven there are still continuous racial prejudices existing within the Boston Police Department. Additionally, Boston Police have given no proper justification for over three quarters of their targeted citizens, choosing to refer to each occurrence as “investigate person”. Carver adds that according to ACLU report called “Black, Brown, and Targeted”, less than three percent of the stops actually lead to confiscation of contraband. Furthermore questionable law enforcement cases from Ferguson in Missouri, Staten Island in New York, and Hammond in Indiana which have surfaced in recent news has brought considerate attention to police procedures and policies. Carver concludes her article by stating her view that Obama should apprise on racial profiling regulations based on the evidence provided from the ACLU Racial Justice Program.

Conclusively, this article has proven to be quite revealing of the current struggles ethnic minorities face in the state of Boston Massachusetts when encountering the racially biased demeanour of the Boston Police Department. In her article, Carver maintains the belief that their conduct of disproportionately targeting visible minorities to be “stopped and frisked” goes against the conviction of equal protection under the Unites States Constitution as well as Massachusetts legislations. The author expresses deep regret with regards to the numerous incidents which took place across the U.S.; all stemming from the impacts of racist ideology being present in the current social structure due to the lack of law enforcement. This racist ideology only contributes to the normalization of racist attitudes and beliefs that legitimise particular societal conditions; ultimately cheating racial minorities of equal opportunity and handling. By providing brief yet concise reports on the various misconducts of police tactics, the article sheds lights on: the Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson who shot and killed an unarmed teenage boy; the asthmatic man who was choked to death by police officers on Staten Island New York; and finally the Indiana family who’s car windows got smashed into by police for not wearing a seat belt at a traffic stop. All of these incidents share the common thread that they are discriminating acts of violence perpetrated by U.S. police towards racially profiled minorities. By integrating these reports in her article, Carver succeeds in painting an accurate portray of the current racist ideologies and their repercussions, as well as including relevant statistics allowing the reader to ponder on these issues.  I was shocked to learn that nine out of ten individuals who are “stopped and frisked” by the police in New York are African-American or Hispanic, according to a 2011 NYPD report. In my opinion, there needs to be an end to this unconstitutional and racist conduct by the U.S. Police Department in charge of law enforcement. As a step in the right direction, it is my view that police officers should be required to wear body cameras at all times to further ensure proper conduct, as well as having more frequently published studies and statistics monitoring their behavior. It is a step backwards for society to persist with such racial prejudice which promotes social inequality.

Carver, M. (1970, January 1). Study finds Boston police target African-Americans disproportionately. CNN. Retrieved October 15, 2014, from http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/09/us/boston-police-stop-frisk/