Profiling

Terrible.

I can feel for what this guy went through: https://www.facebook.com/SarahMarie31/videos/10219523383808549/?__xts__[0]=68.ARCJySlW-aPahifDiAecW_xCsvYrBMqTEWO1GH-MvXWxvJDVxRkbePP4L6N2k5ClFbrJdiIgDz67Qgx-nM-sChfeOGLNnMo_UWHQgCv1jlB7YFoRRqN11Lc2aawo0Y-qc1TZmUkitm21w3-r0W1bGC1FDPx1mdpK8VAa_jTxfK1L_7eaOWdug4qadr22rsPa_ngsuVdabQhGtcCp24cqtzW9OneqEg&__tn__=H-R

Being stopped by police officers late at night will be terrifying and tense.
It was nice the city police sergeant apologized, but it would have been nice if the two officers were present as well.

The racial profiling debate is a Gordian Knot.

The ACLU defines racial profiling as “any police-initiated action that relies on the race, ethnicity, or national origin” of a person rather than on their behavior or “on information that leads the police to an individual who has been identified as being, or having been, engaged in criminal activity.”

When an officer uses race-based profiling, he or she is considering the potential suspect’s race or ethnicity to establish reasonable suspicion or probable cause to initiate police action.

Race should never be the sole basis for probable cause or reasonable suspicion of an officer.

Race-based profiling is ineffective because when an officer uses race or ethnicity as an indicator of one’s behavior to commit a crime, it hinders the officer’s ability to rely on his training and experience, assess the situation and make the best decision possible about his or her actions. The color of someone’s skin or his or her appearance has no relationship as a prediction of his or her behavior.

While we have seen the dangers and ineffectiveness of racial profiling, not all law enforcement actions and decisions related to a person’s race is illegal.

Legally, law enforcement officers and agencies engage in profiling, which is “an investigative tool to identify suspects of a crime which include [a] description of the suspect and analyzing patterns that help predict future crimes or victims.”

Most scholars agree that suspect description, which includes race or ethnicity, and reliance on that description to investigate or apprehend a subject, is legal and allowed under the 14th Amendment. This is because the practice of providing suspect descriptions that include race or ethnicity are not discriminatory and other factors are considered.

Another factor of criminal profiling is recognizing that crime has demographics. Officers are trained and experienced in the neighborhoods they serve to notice certain factors that are present in most of the crimes, suspects and areas they patrol and investigate.

Also, officers use a large bank of information in making investigations, stop, and arrests. As a result, the officer’s training and experience goes a long way in regard to his or her behavior with a suspect.

Racial profiling is a definite concern and criminal profiling can be helpful in reaching law enforcement goals of apprehending a suspect of a crime, preventing crime and protecting future victims.

See article for reference: https://inpublicsafety.com/…/racial-profiling-versus-crimi…/

My commentary: I’ve always struggled how to approach the profiling debate. Racial profiling is wrong because it uses race as the sole basis for probable cause or reasonable suspicion of an officer, but criminal profiling identifies suspects of a crime which include [a] description of the suspect and analyzing patterns that help predict future crimes or victims. One is wrong because it solely looks through the lens of race alone, while the other considers race in the context of the law of probability.

We need to do a better job making a clear distinction between racial profiling and criminal profiling.

But this is admittedly difficult because the two overlap with race as a common factor.

Officers need to be able to do their job in being proactive in protecting the peace, but many times this proactiveness leads to false positives so citizens like Terrell Paci face undue stress.

There’s also the possibility that profiling even based on demographics can act as a self-fulfilling prophecy and a catch-22.

Officers may question black Americans because there is a racial disparity in crime rates.

But there may be a racial disparity in reported crime rates because there is racial disparity in questioning, arrests, and incarcerations that are not fully warranted.

But it may also be true that there is racial disparity in crimes because many black Americans grow up without a father to guide them on the straight and narrow since we have a welfare system that disincentivizes two-parent households.

Criminal justice reform and welfare reform to encourage a return of black fathers are not mutually exclusive. We can and should do both.

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