Racial Profiling Research Paper

On June 18th, 2009 The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario handed down a decision on a case involving members of the Toronto Police Service and a black Canada Post letter carrier.

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Naturally, race is what makes allegations of racial profiling by the Toronto Police Service so controversial and, at least at the level of public rhetoric, so condemned.

But it is important to rethink racial profiling through the lens of criminal profiling and to reduce race to the role that it is purportedly playing in racial profiling, namely a predictive factor; to treat race no differently than we would gender, class, age, or any other profile that works; to take the focus away from race and place it on criminal profiling more generally.

In Toronto, there have been numerous newspaper and television articles accusing the Toronto Police Service of systemic racism and racial profiling (Canadian Race Relations Foundations, 2005).

Along with the media articles, there have been complaints filed to the Ontario Human Rights Commission accusing the Toronto Police Service and its’ members of racial profiling (The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2009).

The Star supported their claims of racial profiling by the Toronto Police Service by providing statistical analysis of the database which compared the number of arrest and tickets issued to blacks, and showed how disproportionate they were to the number of whites living in Toronto (Ibid).

Social groups and minorities further their claims of systematically racially profiled by the Toronto Police Service by using recent rulings by The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and the fact that the is no statistical data collected by race by the Toronto Police Service.A01), and “a disproportionate number of black motorists are ticketed for violations that only surface following a traffic stop.This difference, says civil libertarians, community leaders and criminologists, suggest police use racial profiling in deciding whom to pull over” (Ibid).Police observed the male and stop him just because of the colour of his skin.According to the Harvard Latino Law Review, criminal profiling involves “the use of racial or ethnic characteristics by police departments in stopping an individual because his or her description matches that of an actual suspect.In order to examine racial profiling and criminally profiling one must understand the differences between the two.Although there is no clear definition of racial profiling, there is a common component in all of the definitions (Ontario Human Rights Commission, 2009).His vehicle matches the description given by the witness, along with his gender and skin colour.This paper concedes that racial profiling does exist on an individual basis within the Toronto Police Service.The concern about racial profiling is erupting throughout the country.Many provinces, cities and social activist groups have decided to study racial profiling, or how race and ethnicity may play a part in police investigations. Allegations of racial profiling have been around for years and still are a subject that creates a lot on media hype and controversy surrounding police.

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