Monday, February 28, 2005

Unjust Deterrent of Criminal Activity

Minorities have long been the target of persecution and arrests by law enforcement. Law enforcement may argue that criminal activity occurs largely in areas that are inhabited by minorities and in order to apprehend criminals, everyone in those areas is considered a suspect. These law enforcement techniques of racial profiling have long been overdue for an adjustment. How does targeting an entire race of people stop criminal activity? It doesn't. It does however, disproportionately put them in the criminal justice system at the cost of every innocent person stopped and searched. Since most crimes go unsolved, deterring crime is no doubt a challenge. But, endless searches of innocent people to try and apprehend criminals is a direct violation of people's rights. Innocent people have to forgo their rights to feel protected from the crime that surrounds them. Law abiding citizens want nothing more than to go about their own business without having to become a suspect in an otherwise stressful situation. The endless searches that law enforcement use in an attempt to try and circumvent criminal activity also creates an area of distrust between the innocent citizens and the law enforcement. People have to give into the pressure of cooperation in order to feel like they can be trusted which in turn can make them untrusting or upset at the same people put in place to protect them. The question remains in their minds, "Why am I a suspect?" The answer in the case of innocence is that you are not a suspect, by forfeiting your rights you become trustworthy enough to move about your business as if nothing happened. So if you decide you ever want to leave your home, the only way to stop crime is to forfeit your rights.


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