Racial profiling entails using a person’s race to ascertain one involvement in a criminal activity without putting into consideration the available evidence for the criminal case (Ramirez, 2010). Racial profiling has been a contentious issue in the United States and all over the globe, particularly to the extent on which the action infringes the very fundamental human rights and civil liberties protected by the law. Such an approach by law enforcement agencies and officers is an ineffective strategy, since law enforcement agencies overlook the fundamental evidence, and the suspicion is usually based on an individual’s race and the perception of the society relative to that race (Ronald & Steven, 2006). For instance, African-Americans are commonly associated with illegal drugs and urban crime. On a similar account, Arabs and Muslims are associated with terrorism. The September 11 attacks presented an opportunity to instigate a racial stereotyping against the Muslims and Arabs in the United States, especially those of Middle East origin. This research attempts to investigate the extent to which September 11 attacks influenced racial profiling in the US and, a conclusion is reached basing on the collected facts and evidence.
Has racial profiling by law enforcement officials increased after the September 11?
To determine whether racial profiling has worsened after September 11
To determine the extent does an individual’s race determines the experience with the law enforcement agencies
Research method is determined by the structure of the research question and the research context. Social research aims at providing an explanation for the current state of affairs using predetermined variables. Social research significantly depends on probability; therefore, providing an explanation why a given variable plays a significant role in determining the outcome is vital (Maxfield & Earl, 2011). This implies that it is imperative for the social research to put more emphasis on the findings, coupled with a correlation to the available theoretical frameworks to explain the trends in racial profiling by law enforcement officials after September 11. When carrying out a social research, the researcher can choose between qualitative and quantitative approaches. Quantitative approach entails the compilation and breakdown of experimental data and statistics to result to infer a conclusion; it involves collecting data through investigative units such as questionnaires. On the other hand, qualitative approach utilizes analysis and evaluation of qualitative data through interviews and observation to reach a conclusion. This research requires both the analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data that will be collected from the citizens and state departments regarding the trends in racial profiling, with the data acquisition methods incorporating both primary and secondary sources (Ruane, 2005). This is because the data collected was in the form of questionnaires. The questionnaire was designed to document the law enforcement encounters that were an outcome of racial profiling. Respondents were initially asked to describe the reason why they were filling the questionnaire before proceeding to the main questions.
Ruane (2005, p.123) defines questionnaire as “self-contained, self-administered instrument for asking questions”. The use of the questionnaire is preferred because it facilitates the researchers to acquire enormous amounts of data within a limited period. The use of the questionnaire will also provide a first-hand data concerning potential dangers of illegal immigrants on the selected states. The primary objective of a questionnaire is to encourage and offer motivation to the respondent to participate actively in the research. The questionnaire comprised of structured and unstructured (open) questions (Laurel, 2003). A structured question can be either in the form of multiple choices, dichotomous questions or scales. Dichotomous questions are designed to collect the fundamental data from respondents such as Male or Female, ethnicity, age and other basic personal information. Dichotomous questions helped in saving time required for the respondents to answer the questions. They were in a comprehensible format involving Yes or No and multiple-choice questions. In order to meet the first research objective, the respondents were asked to document in detail their encounters with the law enforcement officials and their views regarding the treatment they received basing on their racial orientations. This was aimed at captivating the motivation of the respondents to participate actively in the research study. In order to meet the second research objective, respondents were asked to document their opinions regarding the law enforcement practices that are based on race. For instance, they documented their opinions regarding the law enforcement procedures and the conclusions of their involvement in crime without the due process of the law such as gathering evidence (Shantz, 2010).
Although the United States have denied the continued use of racial profiling by its key law enforcement agencies, the practice is still used in airports and areas vulnerable to entry of terrorists within the borders of the united states. The current efforts by human rights organization and American-Muslims groups in the United States will rarely be fruitful, if the majority of the Americans still prefer racial profiling as means to their security. Nevertheless, the United States government is given a responsibility by its citizens to instill proper security, but at the same time observance of personal and civil rights cannot be compromised.