(36) Crime and Profiling
Washington Times Editorial (03/17/01)
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Crime and Profiling (03/17/01)

Excerpted from Washington Times Editorial
Page A11, Saturday March 17, 2001

           "... decades of crime statistics and generations of experience show that certain groups dominate certain crimes. Your average cop (no less than the average citizen) keeps these facts in mind if he wants to perform successfully — that is, make arrests and live to file the paperwork.

           "In Denver, for example, the heroin trade is controlled by Mexican nationals.   If a patrolman stops more young Hispanic men frequenting known drug markets than elderly black women in their Sunday best, has he committed, as [President Bush's Attorney General] Mr. Ashcroft would say, "an unconstitutional deprivation of equal protection under our Constitution"? 

          "Or take New Jersey.  There, the crack cocaine trade is dominated by black men, while powdered cocaine is mainly sold by Hispanics.  If state troopers stop more blacks and Hispanics than Yeshiva students, have they also committed a moral breach, as President Bush said recently, for having wrongly pointed "the finger of suspicion at groups"?

           "Of course not.   These policemen are facing reality, and quite often with valor.  In fighting the war on crime, they have had to learn to recognize certain "profiles," of which race is only an element. 

          "In attacking such common sense police work as an insidious pattern of racial bias, both Mr. Bush and Mr. Ashcroft have fallen prey to what John Derbyshire, writing incisively on the subject in National Review, recently called "that large, broad-fronted assault on common sense," — an assault now revealed to have penetrated the Republican Party.

          "In the statistical imbalances on crime that confront society Mr. Bush and [his appointee to U.S. Attorney General] Mr. Ashcroft see a problem with the statistics, not the imbalances.

          "But just listen to what Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard Parks, who is black, once told the New York Times: "It's not the fault of the police when they stop minority males or put them in jail.  It's the fault of the minority males for committing the crime." [Emphasis added.]

Excerpted from "Crime and Profiling" -- Washington Times Editorial
Published on Page A11 Saturday March 17, 2001.

[Last known link: http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/ed-house-200131720562.htm ]

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