|Bush and Ashcroft Take On Racial Profiling
Last Updated 03/12/01
|Editor's Notes: Granted, George W. Bush won the presidency on less than a "mandate". But will George W. Bush's bipartisan efforts also resist the racial extortionists' demands to arrest the "right" number of white guys, or will W. take the position "If you commit the crime, you do the time ... regardless of your color." --Tim Fay, Editor.]|
rallies two sides (03/12/01)
[Washington Times] President George W. Bush has issued a directive to government agencies to collect racial data on traffic and street stops in order to fulfill his campaign promise to end racial profiling.
Bush's directive has caused both consternation and admiration among the black racial lobby as well as among rank and file police officers.
Bush's directive has upset police officers, including many black officers. The Times quotes Maurice Foster, executive director of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement regarding those who seek to end profiling by police: "Some groups are never going to be satisfied."
"Profiling of all kinds is a long-standing method of police work, but the new urgency to end it has divided officers on the street and law enforcement administrators.
"Profiling, minus its "racial" aspect, is acknowledged by most law enforcement groups to be a part of policing. The group of teen-agers -- black, white or brown -- wearing colors, for example, is generally a sign of gang affiliation.
The Times quoest Sheriff A.J. Johnson of Eagl County, Colorado: "If I'm told that the suspects are a group of Hell's Angels, who do you think I'm going to be looking for?" [Is that considered impermissible profiling?]
"Attorney General John Ashcroft, announcing his assessment of profiling on March 1, said that through the compilation of data, "we would be able to develop a summary of the types of contacts that exist between federal law enforcement officials and the public, to estimate the extent of such contacts. . . ."
"Mr. Ashcroft's goal of implementing strict record-keeping of the racial data involving traffic and street stops is opposed by certain law enforcement officials because it could keep police officers off the streets, says Robert Scully, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), which represents 225,000 police officers.
"Furthermore, the fear is that the demand for record keeping at the federal level will be felt almost immediately at the municipal level. Scully of the NAPO said: "This is going to take more of the valuable time away from police work to do more administrative work."
"Mr. Scully says the extra administrative work will undermine the quality of policing in many areas. "The overall effect will be less time on the street. The idea behind police work is to protect and to serve, you will be taking valuable time away from officers," he says.
"The president's instructions don't play well on the streets, say many officers.
"You don't need to be in Washington to understand [a police officer's intuition in making a stop]" says Clyde Venson, executive director of the National United Law Enforcement Officers Association.
"The practice of racial profiling first gained public attention in the mid-1980s, when the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released guidelines that "profiled" drug couriers in several states. In 1986, the DEA's Operation Pipeline called on police departments across the country to search for narcotics traffickers on major highways. The racial or ethnic background of typical dealers varied depending on the area. In some regions, for example, agencies were told that Hispanics and West Indians dominated the drug trade and therefore warranted extra scrutiny."
Operation Pipeline was hugely successful and resulted in the arrest and conviction of a large number of drug traffickers. But it also resulted in many civil lawsuits for "racial profiling". While there was never any question that the arrested individuals were actually drug traffickers (most of the arrests resulted in convictions), the racial lobby argued that "dark skinned" drug traffickers were unfairly targeted, implying that light skinned drug traffickers were not apprehended.
"New Jersey State Police compiled data in 1988 that showed that 76.3 percent of all drug and weapons arrests on the New Jersey Turnpike involved blacks, but administrators said race was not a factor in the arrests."
David Harris, a University of Toledo law professor who has studied the racial profiling issue, said that Bush's 'profiling order' will not necessarily solve the profiling question by collecting race data on traffic stops.
(Based upon the Washington Times story by Steve Miller "Profiling directive rallies two sides" published Monday, March 12, 2001 on the front page of the Washington Times.)[Last known link: http://www.washtimes.com/national/default-2001312221911.htm ]
Profiling? You can only run so far from the truth. (10/16/00)
Dept. of Justice Racial Crime Statistics in Adobe PDF Format:
END Bush and Aschcroft Take On Racial Profiling
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