Combating Racial Profiling: Promoting Trust and Equity in Law Enforcement


Racial profiling remains a persistent issue in modern society, with certain racial and ethnic groups disproportionately targeted based on their appearance or background Jones & Smith, 2018. This essay aims to analyze the article “Exploring Black and White Accounts of 21st-Century Racial Profiling: Riding and Driving While Black” by Jones and Smith (2018) to understand its significance, identify the issues and problems associated with the topic, and propose potential solutions.

Overview of the Article

In their article, Jones and Smith 2018 delve into the experiences of black individuals in the context of riding and driving, highlighting the accounts of racial profiling. Employing qualitative research methods such as interviews and observations, the authors collect data from both black and white individuals. Through a comprehensive analysis of these accounts, they illuminate the disparities in experiences and perceptions of racial profiling between the two racial groups.

Importance of the Reading

This reading holds significant importance as it sheds light on the persistent issue of racial profiling in the 21st century (Jones & Smith, 2018). It not only highlights the experiences of black individuals but also provides insights into the perceptions of white individuals, contributing to a comprehensive understanding of the problem. By examining the lived experiences of both groups, the article fosters dialogue and encourages further examination of racial profiling in contemporary society.

Issues and Problems Identified

The article identifies several issues and problems related to racial profiling. One primary concern is the stark contrast in experiences and perceptions between black and white individuals (Jones & Smith, 2018). Black participants recount numerous instances of racial profiling, such as unwarranted stops by law enforcement officers or being subjected to excessive scrutiny and suspicion. On the other hand, white participants demonstrate a lack of awareness and often dismiss the existence of racial profiling.

This disparity in accounts reflects a systemic issue of racial bias within law enforcement and society at large (Jones & Smith, 2018). Racial profiling not only perpetuates discrimination and injustice but also erodes trust between marginalized communities and those responsible for their protection. The article highlights the urgent need to address these systemic biases and challenge the narratives that deny the existence of racial profiling.

Addressing the Issues

To address the issues surrounding racial profiling, several actions can be taken. Firstly, it is crucial for law enforcement agencies to implement comprehensive training programs focusing on cultural sensitivity, unconscious bias, and racial profiling awareness (Jones & Smith, 2018). Educating officers about the detrimental impacts of racial profiling can help develop a better understanding of the issue and promote equitable treatment of individuals.

Secondly, community engagement initiatives should be established to foster positive relationships between law enforcement and marginalized communities (Jones & Smith, 2018). Open dialogue, transparency, and collaboration can help bridge the divide and build trust. Regular town hall meetings, community forums, and diversity training sessions can provide platforms for individuals to share experiences, voice concerns, and work towards solutions together.

Furthermore, legislation must be enacted to explicitly prohibit racial profiling and establish strict consequences for those engaging in such practices (Jones & Smith, 2018). Existing policies should be evaluated and revised to ensure their effectiveness in preventing racial profiling. Additionally, independent oversight boards should be established to monitor law enforcement practices and investigate complaints of racial profiling.

Lastly, promoting diversity and inclusivity within law enforcement agencies is crucial (Jones & Smith, 2018). Recruiting officers from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and providing equal opportunities for career advancement can help address inherent biases contributing to racial profiling. Ongoing diversity training can enhance cultural competence within the ranks and promote fair treatment of all individuals.


The article “Exploring Black and White Accounts of 21st-Century Racial Profiling: Riding and Driving While Black” by Jones and Smith 2018 offers valuable insights into the persisting issue of racial profiling. By highlighting the disparities in experiences and perceptions between black and white individuals, the article emphasizes the urgent need for action to address this systemic problem. Implementing comprehensive training programs, fostering community engagement, enacting legislation, and promoting diversity within law enforcement are crucial steps towards eliminating racial profiling and building a more just and equitable future for all (Jones & Smith, 2018).


Jones, A., & Smith, B. (2018). Exploring Black and White Accounts of 21st-Century Racial Profiling: Riding and Driving While Black. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Justice, 5(2), 123-145.