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The concern about racial profiling is erupting throughout the nation. Many cities and states have decided to study racial profiling, or how race and ethnicity may play a part in traffic stops by law enforcement in their jurisdictions. There seems to be a generally accepted understanding of what profiling is. Profiling is the law-enforcement practice of scrutinizing certain individuals based on characteristics thought to indicate a likelihood of criminal behavior. Yet, there are two variations concerning the application of racial profiling. Profiling either utilizes race as a sole means of directing police attention, or uses race as a part of a larger set of characteristics and behaviors that lead to police involvement (2011, pg. 75). Regardless of the definition of racial profiling, the debate over racial profiling centers on two questions. Does racial profiling actually occur? and Is racial profiling being used and is profiling a legitimate tool of law enforcement?
Generally, the announcement of a racial profiling study by police and/or other public officials typically includes a…