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But the racial profiling studies uniformly show that this widely shared assumption is false. Police stops yield no significant difference in so-called hit rates -- percentages of searches that find evidence of lawbreaking -- for minorities and whites. If blacks are carrying drugs more often than whites, police should find drugs on the blacks they stop more often than on the whites they stop. But they don't.

Essay about Racial Profiling - 387 Words - StudyMode

In Maryland, for example, 73 percent of those stopped and searched on a section of Interstate 95 were black, yet state police reported that equal percentages of the whites and blacks who were searched, statewide, had drugs or other contraband. In New Jersey, where police have admitted to racial profiling, searches in 2000 conducted with the subjects' consent yielded contraband, mostly drugs, on 25 percent of whites, 13 percent of blacks and only 5 percent of Latinos.


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Perhaps most important is that every year the vast majority of both blacks and whites are not arrested for anything. A generalization linking race or ethnicity to crime will therefore inevitably sweep in many innocent people. And police will miss guilty people who don't fit their stereotypes. As cities from New York to Cincinnati have seen, reliance on race corrodes the legitimacy of the criminal justice system by reneging on its promise of equality. But that's old news. The new news is that racial profiling just doesn't work.