The Instigator
Bookwormav
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Vladimirova
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

Racial Profiling is a Tool for Police

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Vladimirova
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/21/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,298 times Debate No: 73872
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (4)

 

Bookwormav

Pro

We hear a lot in the news how police seem to just run around killing any black man they see. This has caused people to take a closer look at the issue of racial profiling. On the surface it sounds like a horrible thing that causes wrongful inprisionment and death. But race is only a part of the system of profiling that helps the police stop crime.

Racial profiling is something that only follows the statistics of crime, not something a cop who is racist uses to descriminate against another race. No one makes an uproar about the profile for serial killers is a white male in their thirties, because it is only a number that the claim is followed by. It doesn't mean that all serial killers are white, it only says a majority of them is. Therefore it isn't racist to question a black man if the numbers say he might be up to no good.
Vladimirova

Con

I contend that Racial profiling is not a useful tool for police to stop crime, instead it is primarily used to victimize marginalized communities.

1st, racial profiling is not a useful predictor of criminality.
According to last year's Vehicle Stop Report for Ferguson, African American drivers accounted for 86 percent of all traffic stops in a city where they make up 67 percent of the population. Ferguson police searches found contraband on a thrid of white targets and only a fifth of black ones. In the 1999 investigation of New York's investigation of their Stop and Frisk program, they found that while Blacks and Latinos were stopped much more often than other races, they had the smallest likelihood of that stop becoming an arrest with 9.5 stops per arrest for blacks, 8.8 stops per arrest for latinos and 7.9 stops per arrest for whites. However, because these minorities were stopped much more often, many more black and latino people were arrested relative to whites. Jack Glaser of UCal Berkeley developed a mathematical model that demonstrates that, regardless of if the population being profiled actually has a higher level of criminality, racial profiling will result in a disproportionate number of people of that race will end up in prison.

Looking at race as a tool to fight crime does little more than increase the incarceration rates of groups profiled out of proportion to the actual criminality of the population

2nd, it is actively harmful both to the community and to the goals of the police to reduce crime.

Racialm profiling creates an antagonistic relationship between the police and the communities they are allegedly working to protect. This harms the ability of police to fight crime by causing witnesses to either refuse to speak to police or actively withhold evidence. This cuts the police officer off from what he most needs to succeed in prosecuting criminals: information.

Racial profiling reduces the "hit rate" for catching criminals and terrorists by diverting law enforcement resources away from effective practices. For example in 1998, the Customs Service in response to a series of discrimination complaints removed race as part of their investigations and switched solely to a focus on suspect behavior. This led to a 300 percent increase in the discovery of contraband and illegal activity.

Racial profiling in counter-terrorism cases alienates the communities that are most valuable in preventing terror crimes. Arab and Muslim communities can be a valuable source of information relevant to the struggle against terrorism, and will compromise the ability of the US to operate overseas by compromising an important source of translators. In this way, Racial profiling compromises the national security of the entire nation.

Because racial profiling diverts precious law enforcement resources and destroys the relationship between local law enforcement authorities and the communities they serve, it is a counter-productive method of law enforcement.
Debate Round No. 1
Bookwormav

Pro

Yes, while it is true that African Americans are stopped more, it is also true that the areas with the most crime are dominantly Black or Hispanic. This means that police would pull them over more just because of the area they live in as well. Also, in multiple studies it is shown that African Americans, who are almost 13% of the population, are responsible for a astoundingly disproportionate number of crimes, which had been the case for at least the past century. Between 1976 and 2005 Blacks have committed more than half of the murder in the United States. Blaming all of this on a broken system and racist cops does not explain decades-long trend.

The only reason more blacks are stopped is because they have a higher crime rate. It isn't their fault either. The way you live your life all depends on how your were raised and where you were born. It just so happens that many were not raised well, and in turn that made then turn to crime in some fashion. Like I said before, it is all just a factor of numbers and statistics.

Secondly, out of all the good police officers around the world, only the ones that stir controversy are the ones that end up plastered everywhere as an example of what a cop is. We forget about the other thousands of cops who go out every day and do the job they need to perfectly. Also, another problem is that people don't respect officers of the law. Every situation where a cop had killed a Black man, the man was not complying to the officers rules. They ran or disobeyed what the officer said and made the officer feel threatened.

Also, there seems to be a lack of respect for police officers in general. From what I have seen and heard, the man the cops are trying to arrest refuses to cooperate when talked to, so what do people expect the cop to do when talking clearly isn't working. The only option is to end up using force. The deaths could have easily been prevented if the men had just listened to the officer and did as he said.

While police are held to a higher standard than us, we often forget that they are people as well, who every day deal with people that hate them or want them dead. Sometimes they fear for their life's, and so they have to do what they have to live another day.
Vladimirova

Con

Racial profiling is not intended to solve murder crimes. It in fact harms the prosecution of murder crimes by reducing community trust in the police, reducing the police ability to gain useful evidence. Racial profiling is primarily used to prosecute drug crimes, which as I demonstrated earlier, are in fact not more prevalent in Latino and Black communities. Additionally, while Blacks commit a large portion of murders, the degree is consistent with what you would expect from the racial profiling "boost" in numbers.

In Ferguson specifically, traffic stops routinely targeted Black residents of the city despite the fact that there was not a statistical basis to believe that they had a higher level of criminality than white residents. This has created a situation in which the police force and the community they serve have an antagonistic relationship. This makes police officers more likely to resort to force, and it makes the community more likely to object to that force being used. This hinders the ability of the police to operate, and makes them less effective as a crime-fighting force.

In a situation where the police and the community are antagonistic, the officer and the individual being stopped are both more likely to feel threatened and take poorly-considered action. While the police officer might have felt threatened by their loss of control of the situation, the individual being targeted by the officer likely would feel threatened as well.

Communities that are not targeted by the police usually have a much less antagonistic relationship with the police. If you know that the police are not going to assume you are involved in criminality, you are much more likely to cooperate with police and provide them with information, assisting in the prosecution of criminals.
Debate Round No. 2
Bookwormav

Pro

Over time, racism has slowly gone down in our country. Therefore, the statistics of should change as well. But they do not. For decades the trend has been the same and it is easy to see. Most cases of racial profiling happen in places where the crime rate is high, as well as the population that is looked after. It is a sad truth, but the numbers don't lie. Even if you factor in the so called "racist cops", the numbers still show that blacks have a higher crime rate.

As for them feeling threatened, if they haven't done anything wrong, then they should have nothing to worry about. But instead they are disrespectful, uncooperative, and try to escape if they can. Once they try to run, they are breaking the law. It is the cops job to protect the community, and if someone runs or is uncooperative, it shows that they are a problem and should be felt with.

It is not just because they are black either. Like I said before, it matters were you grow up and how you were raised. If a community is raised to distrust the police, no matter what the police do they cannot live down the past. They should still try to respect the badge and the people that try to protect them. The people don't treat the police with respect because that is how they were taught, and in turn the police don't treat the people with respect. It is a cycle that needs to be broken by both sides. The police have rules to keep them in order, but what about the citizens? The cops are trained to follow the law to the best of their ability, while citizens are inclined to brake the said laws. As hard as it may seem in this time of media attack, the police are the good guys.

It is also true that cops will learn from their past experience with that particular race. Crime rages spike dramatically in certain areas, and if those areas have mostly a Black or Hispanic race, it doesn't make a difference. The crime in the area must be committed by the particular race because they just happen to live there.

While it is true that racial profiling isn't something that can be used all of the time, it can be used to quickly analyze a situation and help the police officer make a choice. Keep in mind that this choice isn't made by race alone, although race is a factor. Just like anything else, it is a factor in the situation that has to be analyzed.

Racial profiling has help with terrorism, by the way of watching people that are suspected of it. Even the home grown terrorists have either a ancestry in the Middle East or have made a quick shift to radical Islam. By just watching them, it helps to protect our society. Just like you watch someone with criminal parents or family. You make a quick assessment on something they can't control. It either helps you avoid them if they are bad, or they do something that shifts your view of them.

Lastly, as I have been saying, race is a factor in profiling that should be looked at. It is part of their identity, which means that they are part of the statistics.
Vladimirova

Con

Black and Latino crime rates are high because of racial profiling, not in spite of it. Using the high arrest rate of blacks and latinos as justification for further racial profiling is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you examine racial profiling from the perspective of hit rates, that is, the rate at which stopped individuals are actually found to be in possession of contraband, you get a very different picture of racial profiling. If you examine the Vehicle Stop Report for Ferguson, you can see that while Blacks were much more frequently stopped, the hit rate of those stops was quite low. In fact, the non-racial profiling presumably used in the stopping of white suspects had a higher hit-rate than the racially profiled stops while using markedly fewer police resources. In the examination of New York's Stop and Frisk program, similar disparities between the hit-rate of White and minority stops can be observed. Racial profiling resulted in 1 arrest for every 10 Blacks stopped while purely behavioral profiling resulted in 1 arrest for every 8 Whites stopped.

More abstractly, racial profiling is inherently inefficient due to the oversampling problem. Terrorists and criminals are vastly outnumbered in every population by innocents, and racial profiling results in repeated screening of benign individuals, ultimately resulting a great deal of wasted police resources.

Stopping racial profiling has proven benefits in efficiency and effectiveness. The Customs Office in 1998 ended a practice of profiling Black and Latino individuals, resulting in a 300 percent increase in the hit-rate.

Empirically, racial profiling serves only to waste police resources, and in fact might reduce the ability of police to fight crimes.

And while ending racial profiling would not instantly heal the relationship between the police the community they are there to serve, continuing racial profiling will certainly not close that rift. Maintaining racial profiling can only serve to maintain the rift, if not widen it. Treating a population like criminals can only increase distrust of the police, and lower the threshold for criminal behavior.

In a system which victimizes certain populations, there is much reason to for even citizens that are not involved in criminal or terrorist acts to feel threatened, particularly with the large number of high-profile officer-involved shootings in recent times.

Additionally, racial profiling of terrorism suspects is counter-productive in the stopping of terrorism. Terrorists lack coherent profiles, and can be any individual. Islam can be easily hidden. Targeting individuals based on race or religion merely makes it easier for terrorists to defeat screening procedures through choosing agents who do not match profiles.

Racial profiling is a waste of police resources and actively hinders effective and efficient policework, while antagonizing the community which the police rely upon for information.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Vladimirova 1 year ago
Vladimirova
If this site wanted people to cite sources in academic fashion, rather than cite them in the manner I did, they would add a section for citations that didn't count toward the character limit.
Posted by bluesteel 1 year ago
bluesteel
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>Reported vote: Canuckleball // Moderator action: Removed<

6 points to Con (everything except S&G). Reasons for voting decision: I do not feel that Pro adequately grasps just how bad the subjugation of African-Americans is. Racial profiling is not a tool, it is a symptom of a racist, corrupt society slowly joining the modern world.

[*Reason for removal*] (1) Failure to explain sources, S&G, and conduct. (2) Voted based on personal arguments, not anything said in the debate.
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4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by creedhunt 1 year ago
creedhunt
BookwormavVladimirovaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con simply had better reasoning and more arguments. Pro's points were based off of a singular point that con objected to well.
Vote Placed by CASmnl42 1 year ago
CASmnl42
BookwormavVladimirovaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Good debate. Con made the better arguments. Like other voters, I wish both sides had cited their sources.
Vote Placed by Luharis 1 year ago
Luharis
BookwormavVladimirovaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I felt that while both sides made good arguments, the pro side was more convincing.
Vote Placed by m4j0rkus4n4g1 1 year ago
m4j0rkus4n4g1
BookwormavVladimirovaTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: This is a sickening topic. The arguments in support of racial profiling call for police to use generalizations to interpret individual situations. This line of thinking, when applied to interpersonal relationships, is more aptly called racism. Pro's arguments were not valid or backed up. Con's arguments were more logical, although I ignored the many claims of statistical evidence that con did not back up. Both sides made claims and quoted statistics without including sources, which is a shame. Con had better arguments but did not back them up.