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Nationwide Camera Law as a Means to Alleviate Racial Profiling: Towards a More Efficient and Equita

0 May 08 2017, 09:11 in Criminal Justice System Essays

Nationwide Camera Law as a Means to Alleviate Racial Profiling:

Towards a More Efficient and Equitable Justice System

The development of American history is marked by strong racism. In today’s modern society, racism involves antagonistic interaction with law enforcers particularly to the groups of minorities. "Despite attempts to eradicate racism, it remains a significant force throughout contemporary society” (Von Blum, 2013).

Out of the strong racism embedded in the culture of America, racial profiling became widespread. "Racial profiling” means "discriminate practice by law enforcers of suspected individuals for crime based on one’s race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin.” The police are known to practice criminal profiling or the reliance on a group of characteristics which were thought of to be linked with crimes. Some examples in racial profiling include the bias of one’s race to check which drivers to stop for some traffic violations, or whose pedestrians to search for illegal contraband (www.aclu.org).

Racial profiling was America’s one major societal issue, and various promulgations have been created to eliminate this widespread practice among police enforcers, but through the years, no bill so far has become successful to pass into law and be approved by the Congress. The 2010 Bill on End Racial Profiling Act has been a milestone among all the racial profiling acts forwarded to the US Congress because it provides specific guidelines and provisions for actions towards racism, however, this has yet to be implemented nor enforced by the proper authorities.

In the documentary video entitled "Racism and the Law”, several cases of police violence, abuses and maltreatment done against Black Americans have been documented, with extreme cases even up to the point of accusing the subjects without any concrete evidences and witnesses. In the compiled videos of Paul Von Blum, the videos powerfully reveal the deep-seated hate against the Black minorities and the prejudices of the justice system against them. There was an instance where a Black guy who only looked suspicious in the eyes of the white Americans, became an instant target of shooting. Despite being unarmed, the poor Black guy suffered 40 gun shots in front of a number of armed white men. The guy was mistaken to be carrying an object which seemed like a gun, and so the white guys went on a shooting spree. In addition, there’s also a case of a Black guy being beaten to death by a group of white police men. Luckily, an unidentified person has captured the whole scenario through a video camera which became a solid evidence against the crime being done by the abusive policemen. These and other documented and even undocumented cases of racism against the young, male and female, and old Black Americans have furthered sowed hatred on the part of the minority groups and have created further social divide among the members of the civil society.

Because of this, a stronger and more specific course of action is recommended to address the problem of racial profiling in the United States, particularly, the conduct of police brutality and violence against the Black minorities. Since there have been a lot of cases wherein the minorities were being sent to jail even without any evidence or proof of any misconduct, the actions on police violence may be halted through a proper documentation of such maltreatments and violence. This can be done through a creation of a law that allows video cameras or even smart phones to record any evidence of police misconducts.

Although CCTV systems are installed in major establishments which can capture the incidence of crimes within the vicinities, it cannot however be objectively used as an evidence for a crime. First is because of its tendency to be manipulated by the agencies owning the establishments from which a potential crime was conducted. Therefore, allowing mobile devices such as smart phones or video cameras of civilians to document any crime on the street, will prove to be a more effective way as a supporting evidence primarily to stop or alleviate the incidence of racial profiling. Just like the case documented in the video, "Racism and the Law” the injustice done against the poor Black guy being beaten by several policemen will never be brought to the open without someone who mustered strength to capture the police brutality. With the video record, the truth will come out and will be a very strong evidence filed against the courts to anyone who will follow suit. Another thing, the absence of a human witness, who may be given to fear as a witness to such a crime, will be addressed, when a recorded video is submitted to the courts, even with witnesses being anonymous.

Such policy which will be implemented in the national level, would hopefully create a conscientiousness on the part of the law enforcement groups, so that they will be more careful in their behaviour and conduct against Black minorities. Furthermore, if a national camera law will be carried out, the justice system will be more iron-fisted against abusive policemen who will perform such crimes, or even those who already have records of brutal discrimination against the Black Americans. Going further, the national camera law will be a means to document all cases of discrimination, injustices, brutalities, and maltreatments done against the Blacks, such that these can be used as evidences to fire unlawful policemen out of their duties, immediately. The creation of such video filing system will also be a means for the minorities to lobby for other more policies that would assert the rights of the Black civilians for a more equitable justice system, despite the current setup of most federal and local courts having their officials as predominantly whites. These also would further push for more lawyers, law enforcers, and justices from the ranks of the Black minorities who are champions of human rights and unequivocal stand against racial profiling.

Nevertheless, a lone specific policy may not be fully utilized to end racial profiling as a societal problem in America because racism was engraved in the very culture of the American people. However, small concrete steps such as a national policy on video documentation of police brutalities will definitely assist the authorities to lessen the prevalence of police beatings, misconduct, and abuse of authority to perform racial profiling among the Black minorities.

In addition to this, such policy may also allow the Black minorities to record any instances whenever a policeman or a group of law enforcers may interrogate, mistreat or strike or beat a certain Black American, as a means of protection against the buses of the policemen. Such instance may be allowed if the minority civilians have no further record of criminal offenses, illegal migration, or administrative cases, so that these will also not be used by the unlawful civilians as a case against the policemen.

The proposed camera law will also automatically give legal protection towards individuals or groups of people who have recorded the incidence of crimes or offenses such that the police enforcers can never harm nor threaten them. In the case of the Black guy being beaten by the policemen which started the riot in LA, the anonymous individuals who recorded the videos will be automatically given a public lawyer as a defendant, should the policemen file a case against them. To ensure transparency and efficiency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) could be the lead agencies to monitor the recordings of offenses under the Camera Law. The FBI together with the CIA will be the one to keep the records of the videos and will safe keep them for further investigation. In case there re policemen who will try to uncooperate with the proposed law, he or she will be automatically be penalized and suspended. This is to make sure that the ranks of the policemen have the full support of efforts to stop racial profiling.

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