Racial issues in law enforcement essay

The accessibility Of Law Enforcement Officers is to protect citizen’s constitutional rights, enforce laws, and provide service. Sir Robert Peel also known as the father of modern policing created a police force because society was becoming more complex. This was a result of the industrial revolution but also to avoid having the military to deal with the civil disorder. According to scholar David Skylarks “several decades ago, when social scientists were discovering the police, and the Supreme Court was beginning to construct the modern law of criminal procedure, American law enforcement was structured ugly the same way it is today/’ (p. 209). Policing relied largely on the locals. Police departments are considered quasi-military with organized hierarchy. According to Skylark’s Article, “Not Your Father’s Police Department,” “the workforce has grown much more diverse with regard to gender, and more recently with regard to sexual orientation-but the pace of change has varied greatly from department to department, and virtually all departments have a goods ways left to go” (p. 1210). Figures from the National Advisory Commission Civil Disorders showed that in 1967, the minority officer percentage was less than 3 percent in Boston.

In 2000, Reeves and Hickman released data showing that in 2000, Boston percentage of minority officers increased to 32 percent. 10 states were tested and all had an increased percentage of minority officers. A difficulty that is presented with this sample and that it was taken from two different decades. The definitions of “minorities” and white have changed, including Americans of Mexican or Latin American decent. Race is a social construct and has different meanings in context such as time and place.

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The data sample below shows the racial imposition by rank of the Los Angels Police Department in 2000. As displayed, there is a higher percentage of white officers in every rank position. Black officers are the lowest percentage. Hispanics do have a higher percentage of officers employed by the Los Angels Police Department, however Los Angles does have a high Hispanic population. The high Hispanic population could be an influence on the police department’s hiring process selections as far as need vs.. Want.

In the Los Angels Police Department, the broader term “minority” makes up over half the department, however, more Han sixty percent of supervisory and white officers hold top command positions. Scholar Gene Carte (1 971 ) argues that one of the most visible characteristics of police agencies is the lack of minority representation. According to Carte, “when a police department decides which recruit it will take, political criteria-including skin color and sensitivity to changing community attitudes are as vital for good policing as having a driver’s license” (p. 5). A poll with the New York Police Department by Opinion Research Corp. (1968) revealed that officers felt that the police department should represent he community ethnically and community members felt the same. An independent (1969) survey suggested that community leaders supported this judgment. American law enforcement is no longer the overwhelmingly whiter virtually all male police force it was thirty to forty years ago, but there is still a good way left to go. The lack of minorities can decrease the effectiveness of a police department.

Minorities may offer a distinctive set of skills or abilities. The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society by President Johnny’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Admit castration Of Justice blamed much of the faculties that police experience in the inner city on white officers are lack of understanding of the problems and behaviors of minority groups. It was also believed that the inability of all-white police departments to deal successfully with people whose ways of thought and actions are unfamiliar was also a difficulty.

According to Skylarks, “minority officers were suggested to have two different kinds of special competencies: greater understanding of minority communities, and greater credibility in minority communities” (p. 1224). Claims have been made that minorities officers bring to their work a liable understanding of their off the job community, as well as greater credibility within that community. Judging by scholar Edward Palmer, “the average police officer has a strong sense of right and wrong, a distaste of moral turpitude in others, aggressive, the inclination to serve as an arbiter of morals, an inquisitive nature, and little fear” (p. 9). Left out of these characteristics are feelings of compassion, sensitivity, understanding, restraint, justice, impartiality, and most important, the courage to take actions and positions that are unfavorable at a particular time but based on impassion and logic. Skylarks (2006) states that a police force might have a range of beneficial effects in the surrounding community. Greater diversity in police departments can provide credibility for the department overall. An example is black officers may have more credibility than white officers in a predominantly black neighborhood.

According to Skylarks, “a department that recruits, retains, and promotes a significant number of black officers may find the credibility of its entire force enhanced in black neighborhoods” (p. 1228). This prospect has served as a significant part Of the case for versifying police workforces. President’s Johnson Crime Commission argued in the late asses that improving relations between the minority communities required “recruiting more, many more, policemen from minority groups. ” Critics consider the lack of racial balance in police departments is evidence of systemic racism.

Carte argues in Police Representation and the Dilemma of Recruitment that established recruitment procedures have thus tended to favor a certain type of recruit having characteristics that are not equally distributed across the population. (Carte, p. 90) ” In accordance with Carte, “It s difficult to find qualified black men who fit the pattern that police departments expect and feel is necessary for the kind of policing they want (Crate, p. 90)” A 1 962 study of records for patrolman applications in Detroit by the Detroit Commission on Community Relations (1964) that there was total of 1 566 applications Thayer.

The 1566 applications started as 1132 (72. 3 percent) white applicants and 434 applications (27. 7 percent) black applicants. Following a written examination, the percentage of white applicants increased to 77 percent and the number of black applicants decreased to 23 percent. A physical and agility continued the pattern and increased the white applicants to 90 percent white applicants and 10 percent black applicants. The background investigation yielded 91 percent of the applicants being white and 9 percent being black.

The conclusion of the process ending with the oral board examination resulted in 97 percent white and 3 percent black of eligible candidates. Black applicants started out as 27. 7 percent of the total number of applications. The applicants were reduced to 2. 7 percent of those considered eligible. Coincidently, this is the approximate percentage of blacks n the entire police force according to Paul Delayer’s article in the New York Times (01 / 25/71 His findings support the interpretations presented.

According to an article by Edward Palmer (1973), “the black police candidate will initially be laboring under pressures more intense than those felt by his white counterpart. The black Police candidate will usually come from a lower or lower-middle class ghetto. Written test are geared to the standard of the middle-class white cultures. Background checks may affect blacks because of minor past offenses or ties with persons who have criminal records. Oral board interviews are often openly discriminatory or stacked in the favor of the applicant who reflects the majority of the policemen already on the force” (p. 9). An article was published in the Boston Herald alleging that Black Boston police officers are facing higher discipline rates than white counterparts. Based on a Herald review, the Boston Police Department has upheld complaints against black officers and punished them disproportionately more than their white counterparts. The Boston Police Departments is comprised of about 23 percent black officers and about 66 percent white officers. Over the past years of 2015-2013 an equal number of complaints (14) have been filed for white officers and black officers.

President Of Massachusetts Association Of Minority Law Enforcement Officers Larry Ellison states, “It’s unfair. ” Ellison went on saying ” There are also fewer complaints against black officers, but the department has found a way to punish an equal number or more year after year. ” A sample from 2013-2014 shown that 18. 5 percent of allegations against white officers was sustained and 24 percent of allegations were sustained against black officers resulting n disciplinary action.

Experiences of minority officers can relate to the Internationality theory. Why is it that when we think of a police officer, the first images just comes to mind is a white heterosexual male? Why is that when we think of a police recruit or candidate, we think of a middle-class white male? Minority Officers are poorly represented in the police department in which is making it hard to create a neutral image of a police officer for the average citizen. Minority female police officers go through the discrimination of being a female and being a minority.

Racism plays a part ND sexism also plays a part from the moment a black female takes the civil service exam and even while she is employed, she will be affected by Internationality. People may believe racism no longer exist since racial acts are no as prevalent and extreme as they were 50 years ago. As informed, racism still plays a part in an institution that enforces laws. The critical race theory is evident in police departments. Racism is used against minority police officers from day 1 . The civil service exam is geared towards middle- class white males. Statistics proves that the majority makeup of police resource are white officers.

Statistics proves that black officers are disciplined more then white officers. Statistics proves that promotional ranks are majority held by white officers. Speaking from personal experience as a police officer, there were only about 6 minorities out of a class of 90 recruit officers. Being a minority, would always get disciplined for minor infractions that that white recruit officers did as well, however they would just “fly under the radar. ” My first year as a police officer, I was told countless by other minority officers “be careful, there are certain things the white boys can get way that we can’t (referring to minority officers).

Although race is considered a social construct, it still plays a large part in today’s culture. Institutional racism is dominant within the police workforce. The police culture is based on white privilege and white supremacy, which perpetuates the normalization of minority officers. Crate states that “it is not enough to point helplessly to the small number of minority members who apply, or to the small number that survives the screening process. Under-representation of blacks and other minorities is prima facie evidence of racism, or, as it is ore properly termed, institutional racism” (p. 0). Police leaders base their recruitment efforts after a predetermined model of what a patrolman should be like and what functions he should perform. There are no inherent characteristics in policing. Active representation means that the content of policing us determined by the community that is served. Civil service requirements are frequently used to mask the unwillingness or inability Of police departments to enter into this political exchange process. A local residency requirement is probably the single most important standard for all Alice recruitment.

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