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5 examples of racism in the U.S. criminal justice system

It seems like a new and disturbing instance of police misconduct or unfair prosecution is in the headlines every week. All these newsworthy examples of mistreatment against people of color by the criminal justice system show how serious this problem is. 

Racism is unfortunately prevalent in the U.S. legal system. Read below for some troubling ways that Latino and African-American people experience discrimination by law enforcement and the courts.

1. Police stops

According to the Huffington Post, 80 percent of stops by the NYPD target the black and Latino population. This is especially troubling because people of color only make up half of the New York City population. It is concerning that the rate of stops, either on foot or in cars, is so much higher in NYC for black and Hispanic individuals.

2. False arrests

Law enforcement officials are more likely to arrest or detain people of color without cause than white people. Police officers may illegally search people of color or arrest them without probable cause. 

3. Excessive force

Once the cops stop people of color, they often use unreasonable brutality against them. Examples of police violence include using tasers, pepper spray, dogs or simply tackling.

4. Drug arrests

Despite the fact that white people use drugs at roughly the same rate, black people are more likely to experience punishment for it. The Huffington Post says that African Americans are two to eleven times more likely to face arrest for drug crimes.

5. Malicious prosecution

Another worrying fact is that people of color are more likely to be the victims of unfair prosecution. For example, black people see more mandatory minimum sentences than white people who commit the same crimes. People of color often see longer sentences too.

These are just five of many examples of racism in the U.S. criminal justice system. It is sad that law enforcement and legal officials often violate the rights of black and Hispanic people.




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