The Black Lives Matter movement swept across the United States after the murders of black people at the hands of law enforcement. Not fully acknowledged in the media are the police brutality cases that have also occurred in Canada, a country that prides itself on tolerance, acceptance, and diversity. Police brutality is an unfortunate reality that stems from racial profiling, one of the many symptoms of historically oppressive institutions. In this paper, I will examine police coercion and racial profiling in Canada and the United States. This paper will employ a theoretical framework of conflict theory and minority threat hypothesis to provide a structural explanation of this discriminatory practice in both countries. The United States and Canada have histories of oppression, repression, slavery, and colonialism that have provided the foundation for and legitimized racial profiling. As demonstrated by the literature, racial profiling is an unfortunate reality for racial minorities and their communities. Racial minorities are subjected to disproportionate rates of searches, stops, arrests, and incarceration. Therefore, racial minorities often have unfavorable attitudes of police which undermine police legitimacy. Considering the changing demographics, racial profiling can be understood as an effort by the dominant class to assert their power and control over the powerless.
"Criminal Injustice: An Examination of Racial Profiling and Discriminatory Police Practices in Canada and the United States,"
Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science: Vol. 11
, Article 5.