Criminal Justice System: Racism in America

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In today’s society, the topic of racism is a sensitive subject to touch on, as it affects more than just African-Americans, it effects all minorities living in America such as: Hispanics, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, Canadians, and people who are put purely, “White.” In many cases, such as the young man, Emantic Bradford, who was killed on Thanksgiving night by police and an outrage of racism and discrimination was frowned upon officers, but the whole story was never actually “seen,” by family and friends of Bradford (Sanchez, 2019). As Americans, people should believe there is always two sides to every shooting and every situation an officer of the law is in, but the general public refuses to compare both sides and give sympathy towards both sides. As a result, in unethical attitudes and outcomes from both the police and citizens of America. America tends to use the topics of racial profiling, discrimination, and police shootings as huge negatives, but both sides is actually never seen.

Racial Profiling

In the eyes of the media and such, officers of the law are seen as “racist,” or seek to spread hate if the individual they are apprehending is of color. The public believes that officers of the law receive too much of a bad rap, when it comes to doing their job. Racial profiling seems to be a huge discussion around people on social media. For the most part, people tend to make the officers seem hateful towards people of color or uphold the title of, “bad guy.” In the book, Multiculturalism and the Criminal Justice System, racial profiling is used as a method of identifying suspects, not to express racism (Hanser & Gomilia, 2015). In the event of a fairly recent, horrible situation of a man assaulting a woman of seventy-five years; Metropolitan police department of Las Vegas, Nevada is seeking help from the public of identifying the man (Eggen, 2019). In needing to identify the man, simple characteristics are needed to help the public and it lists that he is a black man, ranging from the ages of late twenties to early thirties (Eggen, 2019). To the family of the elderly woman who was assaulted, they are going to seek out and most likely be very defensive when a man of African-American descent is around them and will probably question who they really are. Now, it isn’t racism, racial profiling is a tool that the police must use to identify and locate suspects to bring into custody in situations of this extent. Although the tool is useful and rational even in today’s society, the public must realize that there is two sides to every event, different opinions and conflicts will arise due to this event; Specifically, African-Americans who fit the description of the black man who actually did injure and assault the elderly woman, will reap in despair and weariness will be brought to the surface due to fear of police. On the other hand, police need this tool because it helps solve crimes and gives the public a way of identifying suspects out in the open.

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In America, many tend to use the word, “Discrimination,” but never fully understand what it means. The true definition of the word discrimination is the unjust treatment of people usually depending on their race. Hispanics and African-Americans are usually the groups of being accused for crimes across America and the stats show, statistics off the federal bureau of prisons show that 37.2% of all races in prison are of black (Inmate Race, 2018). Going off ethnicity, 32.3% are of Hispanic descent, the other 67.7% are under non-Hispanic (Inmate Ethnicity, 2018). Although, officers do often discriminate in most situations due to the fact of minorities representing most of the prison population; Officers should not and should always assume that every person that they see is more than capable of carrying out a crime. In a recent situation, a black man was profiled and discriminated, and a gun was pointed at him after he was picking up trash on his own yard, after displaying his identification and stated that he lived at the property in which he was cleaning (Willingham, 2019). The first officer at the scene noticed a black man on a property in which a sign saying, “Private Property,” and the officer went to go investigate and questioned the man if he was allowed to be there. In doing so the man was holding a tool for picking up trash and was not listening to the officer after questions were being asked (Willingham, 2019), and of course in this situation the officer decided to discriminate this man, and probably would not have done the same thing if he were white. To put it differently, that does not always mean that the police officer is a racist or decides to treat groups of people in unjust ways; The officer is using her or her training and events to understand what could be going on in their communities. Furthermore, discrimination can often lead to violence and that is when the topic of police shootings is very often brought to the surface for the pubic eye.

Police Shootings

Due to multiple social media outlets, police violence and more so, shootings, are correlated as the, “usual,” with police officers. Above all, the public must realize the truth behind police shootings. A page, dedicated to mapping all, “police violence,” states that over 1,166 people were killed by police in 2018 (Mapping Police Violence, 2019). The website, in a very biased way, talks about how police officers shoot to kill mainly blacks and then questions their ways of detaining suspects (Mapping Police Violence, 2019). In recent news, a Hispanic male, Stevie Garcia, was shot and killed by four officers of Metro (Newberg, 2019). A total of eighteen bullets was fired into Mr. Garcia, one fatally ending his life as it landed in the head, and many believe that it was unnecessary to fire that many bullets and killing him for the conflict at hand (Newberg, 2019). To many people, just to clear certain things up and to provide a defense for the police officers doing their job plainly, the four officers arrived on scene to a man, Stevie Garcia, who was waving around a pistol, threatening family members that he was going to kill them and was not abiding by the orders that was given to him by the officers (Newberg, 2019); Body cameras worn on the officers showed that Mr. Garcia was clearly in a different state of mind, although the gun was not loaded, the officers used their discretion and experience as best they could and decided to use deadly force to put an end to Stevie Garcia’s reign of terror on his family. That is to say, with the clip being empty in Mr. Garcia’s gun and if the cops hadn’t taken action in a different situation with a gun being loaded; More people including citizens and officers could be seriously hurt and even more so killed. Officers of the law do what they are taught, and people believe officers shoot to kill anyone that walks up and down the street for fun (Newberg, 2019).


Racism is still very alive in America but when the idea that all officers of the law are, “racist pigs,” that claim is false. Police officers use their training and discretion to the best of their ability but situations occur, and their mind and training is put to test, even in the most extreme events. In the event of Mr. Bradford’s last day on Earth, he was shot and killed by the uniformed men of law; Many pointed the blame on the police, assigning the title of cold, blooded, killers to their name (Sanchez, 2019). Both sides of the story were never raised to the surface for the public to put their input on the event, instead, the side of Mr. Bradford was supposedly helping people in the shooting at the mall, while wielding a pistol. In other words, when an officer shoots and kills a minority in the public eye, never do people assume good, they always assume the worse of everything. Officers use racial profiling as a tool to identify suspects, the word discrimination is never the full idea of officers as they are hired to be ethically profound in their careers, and police shootings are more blown up than anything as stats show they do not kill every single person they lay their eyes on.

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Criminal Justice System: Racism in America. (2022, March 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
“Criminal Justice System: Racism in America.” Edubirdie, 18 Mar. 2022,
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Criminal Justice System: Racism in America [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Mar 18 [cited 2024 May 26]. Available from:

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