Historical Event Kolender V. Lawson

HistoricalEvent:Kolender V. Lawson

Summaryof theEvent:Kolender V. Lawson

Kolenderv. Lawson wasa casepresentedbefore theSupreme Court of California by Edward Lawson, a lawabidingBlack American. Lawson had beenharassedseveraltimesby policeofficerswhenwalkingin theWhite neighborhoodsin San Diego at night.Lawson intendedto challengetheconstitutionality of thePenal Code 647 (e) of California, which wasappliedby policeofficersin countiesof California, includingSan Diego (Net Industries, 2015). Lawman hadbeenarrestedabout 15 timesby policeofficersin San Diego between 1975 and1977 andchargedfortheviolationof thestatuteof disorderlyconduct.Under thedisorderlystatute,loiteringon thestreetsandfailingto identifythemselves to policewasa crime.TheSupreme Court supportedtherulingmade by the high court, whichstatedthatthestatutewascontraryto theFourth Amendment. TheFourth Amendment ofthe U.S. Constitution prohibitsthepoliceoranylawenforcerfrom conductingunreasonableseizureandsearches(Net Industries, 2015). Therulingmadein Kolender v. Lawson casesetprecedencethatinitiatingreformsin theSan Diego Police Department.

Effectof theKolender v. Lawson caseon theSan Diego Police Department

Therulingmadein Kolender v. Lawson casemadea significantchangein themannerin which policeofficersconductedtheir trafficpatrolsandotheroperationsin San Diego andtheentirestateof California. Thisrulingimpliedthatthepolicecould nolongerstoppeopleon theroadandconductunreasonablesearches.Statute647 (e) hadvested muchauthorityin theofficersandthedesertionto decidewhetherpeopleshould be detainedanddeterminewhethera personprovidedsufficientinformationforpersonalidentification(Stormer &amp Berstein, 1984).Thisallowedpoliceofficersin San Diego to enforcethelawarbitrary anddetaininnocentpeoplewhodidnot knowwhethertheywerebreakingthelawornot since such a decisionwaslefttothediscretionof policeofficers.Thisinitiateda drasticchangein San Diego’s Police operationsbecausestoppingandfrisking travelerswithout someprobablecausehadnolegalbasis.

ConnectingKolender v. Lawson tothe historicalera

Therulingwasmadeat a timein which racialprofiling wascommonplace,wheremembersof minorityracescould be seizedandarrestedwithout somereasonablecause.During thisera,thepolicedepartmentassumedthatthepeopleof color,especiallytheBlack Americans werelikelyto engagein delinquent&nbspactivitiesthan theWhite Americans. Accordingto Angel, Calnon &amp Bernard (2014) racialprejudicewasthemajorbasisof anylocalandstatelaws,wherepoliceadministrators,as well as police officers, couldarguepubliclythatprofiling andracialprejudicewasreasonableandappropriate.Thisimpliesthatone’s colororracialbackgroundcould be usedto justifyunreasonableseizureandarrest.However,thesameperiodof 1970s markedthebeginningof policereformsthat aimedat reducingthesignificanceof thenotionof racialprofiling (Harris, 1999). Forexample,thenullificationof statute647 (e) by theSupreme Court meantthatthelawenforcers could not useevidenced collectedonthebasisof suspect’sraceorskincolorto conductprosecutions,evenin thelowercourts.Therefore,the1970s erawastheclimaxof racialprofiling andthebeginningof reformsin theSan Diego Police Department.

Kolenderv. Lawson rulingandthenatureof policingtoday

Therulingmadein Kolender v. Lawson caseseta precedencethat has remainedrelevantto-date. Since thenthenatureof policeoperationshas beenchangingwherethedeterminationof thecriminalityof San Diego residentsisbasedon thelawandnolongeron raceandcolordifferences.Forexample,Harris (1999) identifiedthatthe policedepartmenthas madesignificantmanagerial effortto decreaseprejudicialbehavioramong policeofficerssince 1970s. Behaviorof policeofficersiscurrently predictedby situational-specific andlegalfactorsfollowinga significantdeclinein theinfluenceof extra-legal andracefactors.Moreover,studieshaveshownthattheadministratorsofthe policedepartmenthavebeentakinginitiativesto addressissuesof racialproofing andunfairtreatmentof residentsof San Diego by policeofficers.Forexample,Burks (2014) reporteda casein which policechiefin San Diego heardcasesof profiling with theobjectiveof takinglegalactionsagainst accusedofficers.Thisshowsa significantchangein thenatureof policingcomparedto the1970s, whenthepolicedepartmentupheldprofiling citingitas themosteffectivewayof identifyingpotentialcriminals.

Conclusion

Thedecision bade by the Supreme Court`sinthecase of Kolenderv. Lawson seta precedencethat has facilitatedchangesin themannerin which policeofficersconducttheir operationsin San Diego. The1970s erawastheclimaxof racialprofiling, buttherulingdeterminedtheunconstitutionality ofthe lawthat thelawenforcers usedto justifyracialprejudicein their operations.Therefore,the1970s erahas a placein thehistoryof San Diego policereformprocess,since itmarkedthebeginningof fairnessin policingandusheredintheerain which lawenforcers usesituational-specific andlegalfactorsto determinecriminality,insteadof theskincolorof an individual.

References

Angel,R., Calnon, M. &amp Bernard, J. (2014). Theory and racial profiling:Shortcomings and future directions in research. Universityof Cincinnati.Retrieved February 27, 2015, fromhttp://cjonline.uc.edu/resources/criminal-justice-research/theory-and-racial-profiling-shortcomings-and-future-directions-in-research/

Burks,M. (2014, March 27). San Diego police chief hears racial profilingcomplaints firsthand. PKBSPublic Broadcasting.Retrieved February 27, 2015, fromhttp://www.kpbs.org/news/2014/mar/27/san-diego-police-chief-hears-racial-profiling-comp/

Harris,A. (1999). Drivingwhile black: Racial profiling on our Nation’s highways.Washington, DC: University of Toledo College of Law. RetrievedFebruary 27, 2015, fromhttps://www.aclu.org/racial-justice/driving-while-black-racial-profiling-our-nations-highways

NetIndustries (2015). Kolender v. Lawson: Significance. NetIndustries.Retrieved February 27, 2015, fromhttp://law.jrank.org/pages/24056/Kolender-v-Lawson-Significance.html

Stormer,D. &amp Berstein, P. (1984). The impact of Kolender V. Lawson n lawenforcement and minority groups. HastingsConstitutional Law Quarterly,12, 105-125. Retrieved February 27, 2015, fromwww.hastingsconlawquarterly.org/archives/V12/I1/Stormer.pdf