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African American women in law enforcement

African American women in law enforcement

African American women in law enforcement. Today, women are highly involved in the workforce, with their percentage in the workforce rising to more than 45 percent (Keverline, 2003). They however make up a slightly higher percentage than 10 percent in the law enforcement workforce, an implication that they are not being involved adequately in this sector. More to this issue, most of the law enforcement employment is from the urban police departments. The small departments have even smaller numbers of women or fewer employees. The worst is that less than half of all the women employed in the law enforcement sector are African American women. The situation worsens even in the highly ranked positions generally for all women. The top positions in the law enforcement sector, such as sergeants and lieutenants, have less representation of women (Criminal Justice School Info, 2013). The percentage decreases with higher ranks, from captain to higher ranks and positions. The FBI is the only exceptional federal law enforcement department that has harmonized law enforcement positions for women and men or whites and African Americans.

It was until the year 1970 that white men almost entirely occupied the police force in the United States. Before the same time, women, mainly white women, took only 2 percent of the entire workforce, implying that white men took the other 98 percent (Martin, 2006). This implies that African American people were discriminated to working in the law enforcement sector until then. After the year 1970, the image of white men as being the perfect law enforcement job diminished as more women came in, including a mixture of various races (Martin, 2006). African American women had been completely ignored in the law enforcement sector but were recognized and employed in the same sector after that. Apart from being recruited to work in the sector, African American women occupied almost all positions and ranks, but they still face the challenge of not being represented fully. White women take most of the positions in the higher ranks, with men, especially whites, taking the most critical positions in all departments. In some departments within the US, African American women are hardly found as part of the law enforcement workforce (Martin, 2006).

African American women in law enforcement. Women were first employed as prison matrons in law enforcement and criminal justice departments. This later advanced to jail matrons in larger city criminal justice and law enforcement agencies. This aspect clearly indicates general discrimination against women (Martin, 2006). Given that, at the same time, discrimination against African American people was high, African American women could hardly get a position in the law enforcement sector. The first lot of African American women to be hired in the criminal justice workplace were those who shared the same educational or elite traits as white women (Martin, 2006). These few worked in large cities and within large departments. As of 1991, the US employment sector demanded that equitable positions be provided for both white and African American people. In the law enforcement sector, it was demanded that for every white man hired by a law enforcement department, the department hire at least one white woman, one African American man, and an African American woman (Martin, 2006). This was to reduce recrimination by gender, culture, or skin color.

Today, women are facing challenges based on discrimination in the law enforcement sector. Women face challenges, given that most departments may require them to pass the same physical aptitude tests as men. This attitude was applied in the recent past, but it is now changing direction that sees more women join the workforce without having to pass the same test. Critics, however, find this as lowering the standards of the services. Once they enter the workforce, the major problem is to climb up the ladder in ranking within the same sector. A few African Americans see themselves reaching the best seats (Keverline, 2003). Critics also exist in this case whereby the African American women expect a direct promotion to higher ranked positions without having to struggle for that. Most of them rely on the laws provided to impose workplace equality. Critics see that women, especially African Americans, have to struggle the hard way, just like the rest of the employees, to gain promotions within the law enforcement sector.

African-American Women’s Experiences of Racial and Sexual Discrimination

The critics need to be reviewed better since the United States has high incidents of discrimination against women and African American individuals in various aspects of life, African American women are likely to face two kinds of discrimination. This is exactly what is happening in the law enforcement sector. African American women are discriminated against based on gender discrimination and again, based on racial discrimination. This group of Americans seems to be the most highly discriminated and given the conditions surrounding them; their efforts may hardly be recognized or noticed for any promotional efforts. This issue does not only face African American women but also other women of color in the United States (police-employment, 2012).

Within the same law enforcement sector but outside the scope of the workforce, women of color, especially African American women, face problems emanating from law enforcement departments. Several incidents can prove discrimination and traumatizing behavior toward these groups of women. An example of such incidents involves Malaika Brooks,, an African American woman. This woman was eight months pregnant and was shot by a police officer as she went out to drop her son off at the African American Academy, a school in Seattle (Ritchie, 2006). Another incidence of law enforcement officers against African American women is the case of a woman of Egyptian origin, Mrs. Afaf Saudi. This woman was sixty-eight years old and was a permanent US resident and citizen. She was brutally removed from a certain store in Greensboro, South Carolina, and forced to a police cruiser, making her suffer a broken shoulder and rib. This happened in November 2004, and no legal actions were taken in the case of this incident (Ritchie, 2006).

Other incidents include an African American woman Jaisha Akins and yet a Latina woman on separate incidents. Jaisha Akins was only five years old and was forced out of her school in St. Petersburg in, Florida, by a police officer. The Latina woman had her case differently. A man was beating her up at her home, but upon calling the police for help, she was sexually assaulted by a white police officer from Los Angelis (Ritchie, 2006). Several incidents portray the white police officers as responsible for various assort behaviors on women of color and more on African American women. The incidents described here indicate that African American women do not face discrimination and assortment. At the same time, in the law enforcement workforce, but they also face an assortment of white law enforcement officers while acting as mere US citizens (Ritchie, 2006).

The injustice against African American women and other women of color continues to be a major issue and problem in the US. It is claimed that many women in this category face severe police brutality, but most of them hardly come to recognition due to an aspect of fear or insecurity. Little or no protection may be provided for those African American women who may decide to point out their experiences and the names or image pictures of those white people in the law enforcement workforce, forcing them through some traumatized experiences (Ritchie, 2006).

The problem of police brutality against women of color, especially African American and Latino women, is prone to increment given that no legal action, such as protection on those who point out the lawbreakers, is provided to them. Most of those who face brutality fear for their lives given the same white subjects who harass them sexually or otherwise may turn out to be even worse on them. As indicated, researches show that only a few of these women could stand firm in reporting incidents of insult from white law enforcement officer (DAVIS, 2005). On other aspects, African American women in law enforcement agencies face difficulties because they look down upon themselves. This aspect of failing to trust their abilities and success factors is largely initiated by the fact that they feel inferior first as women in the workforce and second as African American individuals working for a great nation characterized by white dominance (Criminal Justice School Info, 2013). This aspect of white domination in all aspects of the US economic, social, political, and security sectors has to be terminated if all people have to feel equal. The way to stop it is the challenge since the law enforced to push for death for racial and gender discrimination is already in place. African American women would feel superior only if they strive for that, given that the US is a new country that is hardly dominated by a single race but a country that sees all races and genders as equal.

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