Terrorism is one of the facets of criminal law that has numerous ramifications in the contemporary world, particularly in the US. This research explores the issue of terrorism in the context of policing changes in the US, racial profiling and Defense Homeland Security.
Determining how Domestic Terrorism has changed Policing in the US
Policing in the US was drastically changed after the September 11th terrorist attack, which resulted in terrorism being labeled as a domestic crime. The need to respond to terrorism from a local perspective has changed the daily functioning of the local police. Therefore, to counter regional terrorism, Awan (2016) states that a range of organizational changes including the creation of a particular counterterrorism unit is displayed in the police force. As such, the police sector is adopting an intelligence-based policing philosophy to investigate and counter domestic terrorism (Beckman, 2016). Despite the policing changes, the US government through police officers has not yet embraced foreign counterterrorism measures when addressing domestic terrorism.
Over the last decade, victims of racial profiling have increased drastically. Immigration laws are one of the factors that have increased racial bias in the US significantly (Beckman, 2016). For instance, despite numerous efforts by the government to end racial profiling, Awan (2016) notes that when stopping people at the border crossing point, immigration checkpoints and airports federal agents are still allowed to prevent people based on their ethnicity, nation of origin, religion, and race. Following the World Trade bombing, racial profiling has been on the increase in the US among people of the Middle-Eastern origin (Awan, 2016). Based on the Patriot Act, people of Middle-Eastern descent, particularly boys and men having a Visa from countries such as Iran and Syria are required to visit the INS (Immigration-and-Naturalization-Service) in the US for fingerprinting, questioning and photographing (Awan, 2016). Failure to comply results in prosecution and deportation. Despite the practice being counter-productive, social corrupt and unconstitutional, the use of personal identity instead of identifiable evidence is widespread in the US.
Laws and Services available to Racial Profiling Victims
Racial profiling victims are protected by several bills in the US. The 14th amendment, for example, states that each US resident irrespective of their ethnic background, race or religion has access to equal protection by the law (Awan, 2016). The department of justice also has several provisions that outlaw the illegal act, mainly through the 2003 guideline, which prohibitsFLE (Federal-Law –Enforcement) agencies from racial profiling(Beckman, 2016). Moreover, Awan (2016) notes that several states in the US including California and Floridahave enacted laws on anti-racial profiling. Additionally, Awan (2016) states that victims of racial profiling can seek services from lawyers to obtain more information on their defenses, rights and the legal system, which is highly complicated. Regardless of the numerous laws in the US forbidding racial profiling most people, including persons of Middle Eastern origin are still subjected to the vice.
Alternative Actions for Racial profiling Victims
It is necessary to take other actions to protect victims of racial profiling. For instance, victims can consider reporting such incidents immediately to law enforcement superiors and officials (Awan, 2016). Besides facilitating the justice process, reporting such incidents will enable law enforcers to identify where such occurrences are most common. Victims can also contact the media. Accordingly, the media will highlight such issues and increase awareness among members of the public, the government and the international community (Awan, 2016). Equally, victims and other affected parties can raise awareness on the issue by uniting with lobby groups to hold peaceful demonstrations across the country (Awan, 2016). Moreover, potential victims can focus on registering weapons and taking a domestic violence ex-parte order (Awan, 2016), among other measures. Resultantly, alternative actions will raise awareness over the issue and halt racial profiling temporarily. Nonetheless, as it stands, there is no permanent solution to racial profiling.
Role of the Department of Homeland Security in the Fight against Terrorism
DHS (Department-of-Homeland-Security) plays a critical role in the fight against terrorism in the US. Though most of DHS’s activities resemble the jurisdiction of other institutions like the DOD (Department-of-Defense), the agency has helped much in the fight against terrorism (Beckman, 2016). Some of the activities of the department include protecting the US border’s, defend against internal threats in the country, enhancing cybersecurity and minimizing infrastructure vulnerabilities (Beckman, 2016), among others. For instance, Beckman (2016) notes that through the DHS the US has established a program and an office that seeks to counter extreme violence through cyberspace. Beckman (2016) states that terrorism has evolved as more perpetrators have become lone wolves, who are radicalized through the internet. However, by establishing a department to address extreme online radicalization, the DHS has undertaken proactive measures to minimize the effect of domestic terrorism (Beckman, 2016). As such, the department has helped in the fight against terrorism. However, the battle of terrorism requires group effort rather than the initiative of one agency; hence, political officials, other law enforcers, and the entire community must be actively involved.
From the discussion above, it is clear that viewing terrorism as a domestic crime has resulted in several policing changes including the adoption of the intelligence-led policing approach. Equally, terrorism has increased the rate of racial profiling particularly among persons of Middle-Easter ethnicity. To address racial profiling, victims can use the 14th amendment to access equal protection. Equally, they can highlight the issue through the media or peaceful demonstrations. The DHS has enhanced the fight against terrorism by introducing proactive measures to minimize online radicalization. Therefore, terrorism has made significant contributions to criminal law in the US.
Awan, I. (2016). Policing Extremism within a Counter-Terrorism Context. In Extremism, Counter-terrorism and Policing (pp. 31-44). UK, London: Routledge.
Beckman, J. (2016). Comparative legal approaches to homeland security and anti-terrorism. UK, London: Routledge.
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