Profiling

Two years ago, I was pulled over by an Overland Park police officer. He was black.

I was going 39 in a 35, and he wrote me a ticket.

Granted, I was speeding (barely), so I deserved a ticket, I suppose. However, NO ONE gets a ticket for going 4 miles over the speed limit. No one.

Did he give me a ticket because I was male? Probably not, considering he was also male.

Nope, I’m positive he gave me the ticket because he hates white people.

Why do I have to worry about getting profiled by black police officers in Johnson County? I didn’t do anything to deserve that kind of suspicion! If a black man had been going 4 over the speed limit, there’s NO WAY this cop would have given him a ticket.

Or would he?

That’s the number one problem with proving racial profiling… you can’t prove it without seeing ALL of the department statistics and doing a real analysis. Maybe they are profiling… not by race but by some other criteria.

For example, maybe they pull over cars with Missouri plates because they have stats that show most crimes in KC are committed by Missourians. Maybe they pull over young men because historically young men are the most likely to get into trouble. Maybe they’re pulling over cars that are driving a certain way. Maybe they’re pulling over people who fit the description of a crime that just occurred. Maybe it’s just 4 AM and they’re bored.

Cops are trained to look for things that look out of place. Maybe that includes a racial component.

Johnson County, Kansas a very small black population… just 2.4%. It’s 89% white.

Can you see how a car from Missouri with a black person in it driving around at 4 AM might look out of place to a Johnson County cop? It looks out of place because it IS out of place. Certainly, there’s a strong possibility that person has a perfectly legitimate reason for being there. There’s also a possibility that he’s not.

If a carload of white teens from Johnson County were cruising around KC, MO at 4 AM, they’d undoubtedly be stopped by the police. Probably a black police officer. They would certainly be out of place, and probably up to no good, and the stop would be totally justified.

The fact is, we want the police to protect us, but we want them to also act like profiles are irrelevant. Profiling is probably the strongest tool the police have in crime PREVENTION.

If 30 year old bald men were known in a particular area for committing lots of crime, I would expect to be pulled over for no reason.

16.6% of black males in the United States are convicted of a crime and sent to jail. 2.6% of white males are convicted of a crime and sent to jail. Does racism account for this drastic difference? Or are black males committing more crimes than white males?

I can’t believe that it’s racism. It’s certainly not ALL racism. Perhaps there’s a skew in the statistics because black males are more likely to be targeted by police, but regardless, it isn’t the entire gap. Statistically speaking, black males commit a VAST majority of crimes.

Is it racism to say that? Or is it a statement of fact?

We cannot go around pretending like those stats don’t exist. That’s not smart… just politically correct.

Tell me I’m wrong.

  2 comments for “Profiling

  1. livieloo
    July 28, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    I agree with you.

  2. July 28, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    I’d show up for that traffic ticket; I’m betting the cop won’t. Even if he did show up I’m betting the judge will laugh and throw it out. 4 mph over indeed.

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