We see police attempting to keep non-whites “in their place” in the practice of racial profiling by police in which race (usually being black, but sometimes being Latino) is equated with being criminal. Few issues provoke more intense controversy within minority communities than the police practice of profiling. If a single arena of society could be singled out to demonstrate the inequalities faced by African-Americans – especially in public life – it might be in the treatment of blacks by police officers engaged in racial profiling.
A great deal of the controversy that has swirled around a number of recent police incidents involve accusations of institutional and embedded racism in the police departments as officers in a number of cities have come forward to say that racial discrimination is an integral element of the daily practices of the police force, with training officers instructing rookies to routinely stop minorities – such as Latinos with old cars or black men with their hair in corn rows – and invent after-the-fact justifications, such as a cracked windshield (Harris, 1997, p. 545).
The psychology that underlies profiling which is the habit of people to use stereotypes to set off one group of people (“us”, the good guys) from other groups of people (“them”, the bad guys).
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