7.28.2013

Racial Profiling or Bad Police Work?

The oppression of the modern police-state against the people is something that can't be understated, and seems to only get worse by the day here in America. From criminal cops, to incompetent cops, to flat out bad policy which the police are there to enforce,  it's little wonder that there are more and more Americans who are fed up and speaking out.

Unfortunately, there is a racial dynamic to these problems as well. There are racist people people in our society and therefore it should come as no surprise that a certain amount of that will make it into police forces. But racism and bigotry are not necessarily synonymous either. Racial profiling is not necessarily born of some inherent hatred of people with different levels of melanin. It has been argued by some that, statistically speaking, black people are more dangerous than white people. Even within the black community, a black person is far more likely to be killed by another black person.

To look at it another way, if you happen to be driving a Honda Accord, the police may "profile" you based on the car you are driving. They may give you a little closer scrutiny in a routine traffic stop, ask a few more questions, be a bit more insistent, based on the fact that the Accord is the most frequently stolen car in America. It's not the job of the police to harass Honda owners though simply because they didn't choose to buy American. Which is why a whole host of other factors should go into the formulation of deciding whether or not there is something suspicious going on.

They are probably not as likely to be so suspicious of a woman driving a Accord with two kids in the car on a Sunday afternoon, as they would be of a teenager who was stopped in the middle of the night for driving without the headlights on. It also doesn't rule out the possibility that a mother of two might be driving a stolen Ford around town on a Sunday afternoon either. So from these examples we can see that while profiling may have some basis in general context when an officer conducts an investigation, it is not applicable as the entire basis of an interaction with police. It's just bad police work to be overly focused on any particular profile, all moral considerations aside. This is one good reason why profiling should not be the basis of policy as it is now in places in places like New York City.

An Inside Look at NYPD's 'Stop and Frisk' Policy

Mayor Bloomberg Defends Race Comments on Stop-and-Frisk


While the crap-storm swirls around the racial element of the deluded Mayor's policy and his comments, the core truth of the matter gets completely left out. The race-card has trumped the real flaw in the policy. That flaw is the blatant disregard for the 4th Amendment of the Constitution. The problem is not that the NYPD is stopping and frisking minorities. The problem is that they are stopping and frisking anyone without probable cause or a warrant. The problem is that there is a policy in place that would even allow people to be stopped simply on the basis of their skin color in the first place.

The debate over percentages and numbers is beside the point. If this despicable policy were not in place, then the police could not be stopping and harassing minorities or anyone else. The problem is not that minorities are being targeted by this policy, the problem is the policy itself. While white people may not be stopped as frequently, you can be sure that a white kid low-riding his pants, wearing hip-hop duds and listening to Immortal Technique is just as likely to be harassed by the NYPD. People with tattoos, people with piercings, people living in high crime areas, people driving Honda Accords may all be targeted without actual cause.

Of course, this is not just a NY thing. Black folk often feel that they are being targeted because of their race alone. Sometimes their complaint has some validity. Often times though, it doesn't. Take this case of a man who was arrested for DUI, even though he wasn't drunk.

Sober Man DUI: Arizona Driver Blows 0.000, Gets Penalized

The 64-year old black man was arrested, thrown into the back of a police vehicle and had his car impounded, even though he was not drunk at all. The officer disagreed with the breathalyzer device and decided to make the arrest anyway based on the fact that Jessie Thornton had bloodshot eyes. Keep in mind that alcohol doesn't always cause bloodshot eyes, and that it is just as illegal to drive under the influence of substances like marijuana as it is to drive drunk. Thornton admits his eyes may have looked bloodshot, but says that may have been due to a late night swim at a fitness center.

Mr. Thornton doesn't see a flaw in the law though, and he doesn't complain that the officer was just incompetent and unable to tell the difference between a DUI and a man who just climbed out of a swimming poor. Instead, he believes the officer was a racist.

“It was driving while black,” he said, adding: “I just don’t want any of this to happen to somebody else.”

Was the officer really a racist though? Was he really profiling the driver? It's possible, but there is no real reason to believe that based on the information which Mr. Thornton himself shared with the media in that article. So outside of that, either the officer was utterly incompetent, or he was just a cop harassing a citizen. A bully, which is more often than not the fact of the matter. Those same two options stand in this following case, where a white woman was arrested for being drunk, when she was actually the designated driver and had not touched a drop of alcohol that night.

Heather Squires was arrested for DUI without drinking a drop of alcohol

In short, police are not the spokespersons for "white people" and are not a standing army to protect whites from blacks. It's time we take a step back from the racial issues and take a good hard look at what is happening to our country. All of us, black, white, and all the rest across the board are being targeted by a fascist police-state. We are not so different at all really, we the people that is, and we have a common enemy. Tyranny.


First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Catholic.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

-attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the sloth of German intellectuals following the Nazis' rise to power and the subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group.


Also see:

Papers Please (Checkpoint Video)

Papers Please Incident Makes Cops Looks Like Gestapo







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