Panel Discussion



of the Articles

Inthe racial profiling and police subculture by Janet Chan, it mainlyfocuses on the issues and challenges characterizing racism in policetreatment. According to Janet Chan, racial profiling refers to theincrease in scrutiny and surveillance based on ethnic and racialfactors (Chan, 2011). One of the most important aspects in thisarticle is that for racial profiling, placing agent intention is notthe core factor but insecurity and injustice remain the key point ofconcern. Chen further states that it is challenging to prove racialprofiling. Additionally, this article suggests three main waysthrough which racial disparities can occur: prejudice, stereotypingand cognitive bias.

EmilyBadger while writing on why it is hard to study police racialprofiling uses a program which conducted a study on five major citieson a possible bias within the criminal system (Badger, 2014). Basedon the program National Centre for Building Community Trust andJustice, it is certain that there is a need for verifiable data toascertain the problem in question. Although the program reports someof the racial bias in policing, there is no explanation on why it isthere in the first place and how it can be eliminated.

Thethird article is based in France by Scott Sayare where a court inParis threw a case on illegal racial profiling by the law enforcers.Despite the decision, the Open Society Justice Initiative through alegal officer Lanna Hollo would appeal the ruling. Based on two caseswhere Arab men and 13 black individuals requested 13600 dollars and10000 euros respectively for the damages after being harassed by thepolice, the victims were unable to prove the motive behind thefrisking by the police.

Questionsfrom Beverly (Moderator)

  1. Describe three mechanisms through which racial disparities in police treatment can happen through prejudice.

  2. What is needed to ensure that policing practices are scrutinized and that the social and political pressure for change is escalated?

  3. Justice Department announced plans to collect data in five pilot cities on police stops, searches, arrests and case outcomes in a bid to ferret out the &quotpossible effect of bias within the criminal justice system. What was the name of this program?

  4. Since African-Americans are six times more likely to be stopped and frisked, are they six times more likely to be in possession of something criminal when they`re stopped?

  5. A court in Paris&nbspon Wednesday&nbspthrew out lawsuits that claimed illegal racial profiling by the police engaged in public identity checks and pat-downs. Why?

Answersfrom the Chris and Leah (The panelists)

  1. Through cognitive bias and stereotyping, and through race-based deployment.

  2. Media publicity

  3. National Centre for Building Community Trust and Justice&nbsp

  4. We don`t have a study that says `these are the proportions by which different genders and races commit crimes, but we do know how often they self-report using drugs. And we do know how often they are arrested for drug violations.

  5. The court found that the men had been unable to prove racial motives for the identity checks, which are widely viewed in France as a legitimate policing tactic.

AdditionalInformation by the Moderator

  1. Beside conscious intent, cognitive bias and stereotyping are also important to consider. Additionally, whether in an organizational or local practice, prejudice may or may not involve consciousness and individual intent.

  2. While citing an example of Northern Carolina by Warren and Tomaskovic – Devey (2009), reduction in the racial disparity has been experienced as a result of media involvement.

  3. Although other information has been provided such as half of the black men by the age of 23 being arrested, there is no much content on police bias and the basis of such claims.

  4. There is still no basis or foundation to ascertain that there is racial bias on the African Americans

  5. Indeed, the Arabs and Africans are eight times likely to be arrested than the whites.

of the Discussion

Regardingthe first question, prejudice entails conscious intent although thereis an aspect of false assumptions on criminality which I concur withsince few cases cannot be used as the basis for terming the entirepolice treatment as biased. On the second question, I agree thatmedia publicity is the key to ensuring the effective scrutiny of thepolicing practices. The name of the program in the justice departmentwas National Centre for Building Community Trust and Justice whichwas aimed at establishing the disparities in the criminal justicesystems and their impacts. I believe that the conclusion of thisprogram is true, that it is hard to justify any bias without adequatedata. There is, however, need to identify the reasons for bias andwhere it emanates from. Regarding the likelihood of the AfricanAmericans being stopped and frisked, although the study disputesthese claims, I agree that it is true, but the degree of likelihooddiffers. On the last question, the court threw the case based on thefact that the victims failed to prove the racial motives. On the factthat there was no follow up by the police after the stop, I believethis would have been an act of extremism thus the reason why it didnot happen.


Badger,E. (2014, April 30). Why it’s so hard to study racial profiling bypolice.&nbspWashingtonPost.Retrieved from

Chan,J. (2011). Project MUSE – racial profiling and policeSubculture.&nbspCanadianJournal of Criminology and Criminal Justice,&nbsp53(1),75–78. Retrieved from

Sayare,S. (2014, August 4). France: Court throws out cases claiming racialprofiling by police.&nbspEurope.Retrieved from