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Race, Ethnicity, and PolicingNew and Essential Readings$
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Stephen K. Rice and Michael D. White

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814776155

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814776155.001.0001

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State of the Science in Racial Profiling Research

State of the Science in Racial Profiling Research

Substantive and Methodological Considerations

(p.239) Chapter 10 State of the Science in Racial Profiling Research
Race, Ethnicity, and Policing

Meaghan Paulhamus

Robert J. Kane

Alex R. Piquero

NYU Press

This chapter reviews substantive issues related to racially biased policing, and discusses how those issues complicate the definition and measurement of the phenomena. In particular, it points to the notion of the “symbolic assailant” and drug courier profiles associated with the “war on drugs” as early predecessors of the racial profiling problem. It also notes that rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court—particularly in Terry v. Ohio and Whren v. United States—provided the legislative foundations of police profiling. The chapter ends by suggesting the scrapping of the term “racial profiling” in favor of the term “differential stops,” as the latter allows researchers to begin from a neutral and objective position.

Keywords:   racially biased policing, symbolic assailant, drug courier profiles, war on drugs, racial profiling, U.S. Supreme Court, Terry v. Ohio, Whren v. United States, differential stops

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