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Paper Topic:

Public Safety vs. Civil Rights

Running head : PUBLIC SAFETY VS . CIVIL RIGHTS

Public Safety vs . Civil Rights

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Abstract

Terrorist attacks and terrorist threats have caused a serious conflict between public safety and civil rights in the legal system of the U .S Law enforcement agencies are directly involved into this conflict , as they directly implement public safety procedures which often contradict the basic civil rights

Public Safety vs . Civil Rights

Introduction

In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks have come many proposals

for tightening security some measures to that end have already been taken . Civil libertarians are troubled . They fear that concerns about national security will lead to an erosion of civil liberties (Posner , 2001 . The American state persistently strives to guarantee public safety to all its citizens . The active work of law enforcement agencies has improved public safety , but has largely sacrificed numerous civil rights of the American citizens

It is clear and understandable , why law enforcement agencies do their best to improve the level of public safety in the United States : the terrorist acts of 9 /11 have proved the vulnerability of the American state in the face of large terrorist organizations . Immediately after the first terrorist attacks , law enforcement agencies have realized their critical role in promoting the highest level of public safety among their citizens . However , the need to guarantee public safety has led to the discrimination of the basic civil rights , especially among the Arab and Muslim population

There is a perception that local law enforcement authorities did not take seriously the complaints of Muslim , Arab , and South Asia residents who were subjected to hate crimes in acts of misplaced retaliation for the events of September 11 . This has been an issue in the taxi industry where many drivers are South Asian in origin (New York Advisory Committee to the U .S . Commission on Civil Rights , 2004

The conflict between public safety and civil rights became visible as soon as law enforcement agencies have started to implement numerous law enforcement measures to prevent further terrorist attacks . These measures were mainly expressed through the development of more accurate identification systems , tighter security , tighter immigration laws , and increased surveillance and communications . These measures have been extremely effective in minimizing terrorist threats . Simultaneously they have caused serious problems in the area of civil rights Surveillance and identification systems are of the main concern . The existing facial profiling systems are far from being perfect and cause numerous errors . Law enforcement agencies develop effective surveillance procedures , but these procedures imply that any type of personal communication can be subject to legal monitoring . As a result , there is a possibility of sharing of sensitive private information between several agencies with no safeguards for their future use (Schwabe 2003 . Although surveillance procedures can prevent possible terrorist threats , they can also break citizens ' privacy

Law enforcement authorities have not yet been able to resolve this issue . While law enforcement agencies ' primary role is to ensure that citizens are safe...

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