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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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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Race, Ethnicity, and Policing
Author(s):

Robin S. Engel

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814776155.003.0023

This introductory chapter briefly explores the history and development of research on racial profiling conducted by the police and describes the method itself. The practice of targeting racial minorities for routine traffic and pedestrian stops originated with the war on drugs, whose advocates promoted profiling as an effective policing tactic to detect drug offenders. The concept of a “drug courier profile” that included race/ethnicity can be traced back to a report produced by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that concluded that “large scale, interstate trafficking networks controlled by Jamaicans, Haitians, and Black street gangs dominated the manufacture and distribution of crack.” Researchers responded to this by broadening the inquiry to once again consider the examination of all racial/ethnic bias by the police. The scientific and practitioner communities now refer to “bias-based policing” It is recognized that racial/ethnic bias by police may result in many different outcomes for citizens.

Keywords:   racial profiling, police, racial minorities, traffic stops, war on drugs, drug courier profile, race, ethnicity, racial bias

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