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Race and Crime

by: Tasfia Kamal

Race and Crime

Tasfia Kamal
GPA 2.96

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These essays cover and analyse the Strain theory and racial profiling.
Race and Crime
Professor Shields
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Tasfia Kamal on Friday May 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to at Rutgers University taught by Professor Shields in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Race and Crime in Criminal Justice at Rutgers University.


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Date Created: 05/13/16
Tasfia Kamal Professor Shields  Race and Crime    8March, 2016                                                        Racial Profiling         The term “racial profiling” refers to the unlawful discriminatory incident where the law  enforcement officers unfairly target individuals for suspicions of crime based on their race,  ethnicity and/or religion. In other words, when a law enforcement officer assumes someone as  criminal based on their skin color is called racial profiling. Racial profiling can occur in many  way and forms. For example, stopping vehicles at the side of the roads, stopping pedestrians as  they are walking, stopping people at the security booth at the shopping malls etc. Racial profiling can include a wide range of communities of color; which includes African Americans, Hispanic,  Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern etc. Basically, no one but whites are safe under the umbrella  of racial profiling. Many critics argue that racial profiling can be beneficial in terms of narrowing down the criminals or stopping suspects before they commit a crime and harm the society.  However, several recent and past studies have shown otherwise results. Studies have shown that  racial profiling is more humiliating and frustrating than being beneficial to the community, not to mention how it is completely unconstitutional.          Racial profiling is unconstitutional as it violates individual’s Fourth Amendment rights  which is the promise of equal protection under the law and freedom from unreasonable searches  and seizures. Stopping someone on the road because they are speeding is considered  “reasonable” where the race does not play any role as a crime has been committed. But stopping  someone on the road based on their skin color is considered “unreasonable” because it is unfair  and neither a crime has been committed yet nor there is any reasonable suspicion or probable  cause. It is not only unfair but also extremely frustrating for the people who are being stopped  without a reasonable suspicion. Racial profiling causes losing trust on the law enforcement  agency as well as questioning their legitimacy. On 2009, about 47% of the population  complained about being hassled and negatively treated by the police officers (Gau and Brunson). In 2011, only 74% Blacks and 73% of the minorities believed they were satisfied by the police  officers’ performance. Looking at the previous court cases with racial profiling such as  Tennessee v. Garner, Graham v. Connor, Wren v. United States etc., it is evident that racial  profiling is not only unfair but also can cause serious harm to the innocents.         According to a recent police pole, about 70 percent of the United States population is  uncomfortable with the racial profiling and consider this as unlawful. This shows that majority of the population consider this method to be eradicated as soon as possible. Police represent the  front line of criminal justice system. So regular citizens will be more inclined to be engaged in  unlawful activities if they see police or any other law enforcement agency such as CIA or FBI  taking such unlawful and unconstitutional action. Hence, racial profiling should be stopped and  erased to be fair to everyone.  Work Cited:­justice/race­and­criminal­justice/racial­profiling­profiling­definition­70­of­americans­oppose­racial­profi Tasfia Kamal Professor Shields  Race and Crime    29March, 2016                                                          Strain Theory              Many scientists and criminologists have established numerous theories to explain why  human commit certain criminal activities. Among them, the most popular and widely accepted  theories are, biological theory, social disorganization theory, strain theory, subculture theory etc.  The newspaper article that I collected for this essay shows elements of subcultural theories  within the alleged criminal. By definition, subcultural theory combines social disorganization  theory and strain theory to explain how people living in deteriorated neighborhood acts to social  isolation and economic deprivation. According to this theory, certain social structure and poverty mainly influences people to commit crime in order to achieve the “American Dream”. After  looking at the description given by the reporter on the article named “Wal­Mart Theft Suspect  Charged with Criminal Confinement”, it is evident that the subcultural theory can explain the  reasons behind the alleged criminal’s delinquent behavior.               A News and Tribune article called “Wal­Mart Theft Suspect Charged with Criminal  Confinement” by Elizabeth Beilman focuses on a theft that occurred at Wal­Mart in Southern  Indiana. The article was published on March 28 , 2016. The reporter describes that on March  27 , a 30 years old Hispanic male named Larenzo Kentrell Draper allegedly stole from that Wal­ Mart store and tried to run away from the police. Draper was caught by Southern Indiana  policeman named Mark Palmer. Draper has been charged with four felonies­ criminal  confinements, resisting law enforcement with a vehicle, theft and possession of stolen property,  and four misdemeanors — possession of a handgun without a license, criminal recklessness,  leaving the scene of an accident and reckless driving. The article also focuses on his past  criminal record. The reporter mentions that Draper had has a long history of criminal activity; so  the theft at the Wal­Mart was not his first crime. Looking at his history of getting convicted with  crimes, it is evident that he is a career criminal; which means that you do crimes as a living. As  he is facing multiple criminal charges, he is expected to have a large number of prison sentence  from the Indiana municipal court. Draper comes from a very poor background with a little or no  help from the family. The judges are currently looking over the case and evidence will have a  hearing soon in next couple weeks.              According to the article, Draper grew up in a poor community with a small portion of  help from family. Growing up he probably did not get much support from family or anyone close and constantly had to struggle with poverty. As a result, he has been involved in theft constantly.  The fact that he carries an unlicensed gun proves that he commits crime as a living and he needs  a gun for his safety or he belongs from a very dangerous community where he does not trust  anyone with his life. If we look at Anomy theory, he definitely falls under the “Innovation” type  which means that he has been blocked from success due to structure, turned to illegal means  instead. Draper can also fit into the “The delinquent boy” type who rejects the mainstream  culture and engages in routine delinquency (Cohen’s deviant subculture). As Draper lacked both  community and economic support, his reason behind getting involved in criminal activities can  be described as social structure and economic; which proves the subcultural theory of why  people gets involved in criminal activities. When Draper realized that he did not have any ways  to have economic independency, he had to turn himself to illegal activities to fill in the gap  between economic reality and expectations.              Every person has a different reason behind committing crimes. Some does it for  psychological issues, some does it because of survival and some does it for pure entertainment.  Criminological theories explain the reasons behind these delinquency acts and explores ways to  fix these issues. These theories help the law enforcement officers to understand the mindset of all the criminals and understand how to help them to go towards the right direction.  Work Cite:­wal­mart­theft­suspect­charged­with­criminal­ confinement/article_bae7634c­f50d­11e5­846d­37ffbf28326d.html


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