People in Dearborn essay
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Most critics (Cox and Wade106) say that zero tolerance is bound to fail, because it destroys several key requisites for the successful community policing, such as accountability of law enforcers, openness to the public scrutiny and community cooperation. Another down side to zero tolerance is the fact that its policies could easily prohibit law enforcers from making the penalty fit for the crime. As such, criminals could easily adopt the notion that no matter the size of the crime, the punishment remains the same, and this could cause an increase in criminal activities. Harsh sentences meted out on all offenders disregarding the magnanimity of the crime make this approach unfair. It also shows a disregard of human rights to which everyone is entitled.
As for the citizens of Dearborn, critics could easily point out that the questioning of residents, particularly those of Arab descent, after the U.S bombings, depicted a form of racial profiling, but I highly disagree. This is because the interviews were voluntary, and the police agreed to schedule meetings through sending letters to potential interviewees. This goes ahead to show that the citizens themselves wanted to be of assistance to the police in helping with the investigations for the 9/11 bombing. The reason for the questioning of Arabs is because it was Arabs of the Al-Qaeda group of terrorists who carried out the attacks. Consequently, law enforcers requested for volunteers of Arab descent in Dearborn, to come forward and be interviewed, since their population has significantly increased in the recent past.
Needless to say, racial profiling is a form of discrimination. In most parts of the world, it is illegal. In fact, in some countries, anyone caught practicing it could easily be charged with an offence in a court of law and sentenced to a jail term of even up to four years. However, a closer look at the case of the United States Vs Martinez Fuerte reflects, to some extent, one of racial profiling. This is because, the arrest of Mr. Fuerte (despite being guilty of harboring and transporting illegal immigrants) brought about a whole new law of establishing checkpoints on the highways leading towards or away from the Mexican border. I support many in the law enforcement community, who argue that the use of racial profiles is an effective tool. This argument heavily relies on the fact that crime tends to be higher in some communities, which have a large minority population, as compared to those which have a small minority population. As such, it is unethical, as well as unprofessional to ignore that fact, but this does not mean that race should be the only factor observed to make a judgment concerning someone. However, most Americans support racial profiling as necessary. This attitude is probably due to the steady increase in global insecurity over the past years, especially nuclear wars and terrorist attacks caused by conflicts over resources, as well as hunger for power in nations.
The airline ticketing agent, who handled the leader of the September 11 attacks together with his colleague, said afterwards that when he looked at the pair, his first reaction was suspecting them of being terrorists, but he could not do anything on grounds of suspicious appearances. Had he been able to do something? Maybe, the planned attacks could have been prevented from happening. As such, racial profiling could to an appreciable extent help in law enforcement, if properly used and not overexploited.
In my opinion, the case of Martinez does justify the questioning of people in Dearborn. This is because, the majority of the occupants of Dearborn are of Arab descent, and since the attacks were carried out by Arabs, it is only wise to start questioning those in the community, who hail from that race. I believe it helped the people of Dearborn to have some peace in the sense that they got some assurance that the Arabs in the community were not involved in the attacks. This is because they were willing to assist the police by being interviewed, to be able to arrest the attackers.