The history of racial profiling dates back into decades, when the first ideas of crime and its relation to race and ethnicity started to emerge. Today, racial profiling remains one of the most problematic aspects in police work. Despite the growing wave of opposition to racial profiling, it is wrong to believe that it is just a myth used to fuel the racial and ethnic conflicts in law enforcement. Hundreds of professionals in police apply to racial profiling when modeling the patterns of crime and possible ways to resolve it.
The claim that racial profiling is a slippery slope of ethics in contemporary law enforcement is quite popular. To a large extent, racial profiling operates at the interaction of law enforcement practice, research, ethics, and law. On the one hand, the very philosophy of racial profiling is based on the extensive body of empirical evidence that people of certain races and ethnic origins are more prone to commit crimes. More specifically, African-Americans and individuals of Hispanic origin are believed to be more susceptible to crime temptations than their white counterparts. Not surprisingly, racial profiling approaches are used to justify aggressive policing against the suspects who, based on the racial profiling predictions, are more likely to commit a crime.
On the other hand, racial profiling has the potential to undermine the trust and respect for police by minority representatives. Furthermore, the philosophy of racial profiling undermines and denies the very basics of law enforcement and, actually, law, which should be based on the principles of equality and equity. Racial profiling is a slippery slope of modern law enforcement, because it implies that certain groups of individuals are more likely to be arrested and exposed to criminal investigation procedures simply on the basis of their ethnicity and the racial expectations of police workers. Even in the presence of rich evidence that race and ethnicity are important factors of crime and delinquency, racial profiling cannot be justified. Law enforcement agencies will never ensure the effectiveness of law and crime prevention strategies, unless the concepts of race and racial profiling are eliminated from their lexicon.