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Author Topic: Racial Profiling  (Read 1989 times)

YoungIke

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Racial Profiling
« on: July 25, 2005, 08:56:20 AM »
In light of recent events, there has been a lot of racial profiling directed toward the Middle Eastern Community. As African Americans we are all too familiar with profiling and should be able to sympathize. What are your views on the recent switch of ethnic groups in profiling after terrorist activities and do you guys think profiling is ever justified. Please touch on the Patriot Act and inner-city violence in your analysis of the institution of racial profiling.

The article that sparked this thread

 Man Shot Dead by British Police Was Innocent Brazilian Citizen
Bystander Mistaken for Suspect in Failed Bomb Attacks

By Glenn Frankel
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, July 24, 2005; Page A24

LONDON, July 23 -- The man shot dead by police in front of terrified passengers inside a subway car Friday was an innocent Brazilian bystander mistaken for a suspect in the abortive bomb attacks the day before, police officials acknowledged Saturday.

The officials said the man emerged from the same South London apartment complex as a prime suspect in the failed bombings of three subway trains and a double-decker bus, and was followed by armed plainclothes officers to a nearby subway station.

 

Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, was an electrician. (Str - Reuters) 
They gave chase fearing the man was preparing to attack a train, police officials said. The officers pushed him to the floor of the car and shot him five times in the head at close range, according to witnesses, who gave searing accounts broadcast on television and radio. Under guidelines adopted in recent years, officers are advised to shoot suspected suicide bombers in the head to prevent them from setting off explosives.

Police identified the man as Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, a Brazilian citizen.

The mistaken shooting set off a new wave of alarm and criticism from leaders of Britain's minority Muslim community, who expressed concern that police are singling out men with certain physical characteristics or ethnic backgrounds in their pursuit of the would-be bombers, believed to be Muslims of South Asian or North African origin.

"We accept that police are under tremendous pressure to apprehend the criminals attempting to cause carnage, but we believe this incident makes it vital that the authorities explain and follow the rules of engagement to ensure innocent people are not caught up and killed due to overzealous policing," said Inayat Bunglawala, spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain.

A police statement expressed regrets for the killing and added: "For somebody to lose their life in such circumstances is a tragedy." Officials said the incident would receive a full investigation but declined to comment further.

In Brazil, the Foreign Ministry said it was "shocked and perplexed" by the death of Menezes, whom it did not name but described as "apparently the victim of a lamentable mistake," the Associated Press reported.

The ministry said it expected British authorities to explain the circumstances of the shooting, and Foreign Minister Celso Amorim would try to meet with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw during a visit to London.

Meanwhile, police questioned two men arrested Friday in south London under anti-terrorism laws, while investigators combed this anxious city for the four men suspected of carrying out the failed bomb attacks. The small explosions killed no one but were attempted carbon copies of the July 7 suicide bombings during morning rush hour here that killed at least 56 people -- including the four suspected bombers -- and injured 700.

The two men were held after raids late Friday in the Stockwell area, near the station where Friday's fatal shooting occurred. The site is one stop south of Oval station, which was the site of one of the failed attacks Thursday.

Bunglawala said the police force needed to convince anxious Muslims and other minority groups that it was concerned for their safety. At the same time, he said, Muslims must help the police catch the would-be bombers.

 

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Racial Profiling
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2005, 09:06:04 AM »
DAMN.  5 shots to the dome??  Is that even necessary?  The terrorists won.  England is shook up like a pair of dice, which is exactly what they wanted.  They're on edge so much they're ready to pop a cat 5 times in the dome if he looks a certain way.

Profiling can be a necessary evil sometimes.  If you got a cetain type of people doing wrong then yeah, it would behoove local authorities to keep an eye out.  But most cats suffer from that "they all look alike" syndome, so then anybody becomes a suspect.

From what I understand from the bombings in England, the 4 cats who did it were home grown England citizens.  Paid their taxes and the whole 9.  You can't profile a target like that, you'd be profiling everybody & they mama.  I could understand maybe keeping tabs on a cat from out of country, but not your own citizens...that's doing too much.
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Re: Racial Profiling
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2005, 09:25:38 AM »
What happened to the Brasilian man was a tragedy, however the Brittish people are on edge right now because of the threat of more terrorist attacks. I really feel for the Muslim community because they are not the terrorist but will end up paying the consequences as a result. Sadly enough the Brittish police will not change their shoot to kill policy if they suspect someone of being a suicide bomber.
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YoungIke

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Re: Racial Profiling
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2005, 09:27:10 AM »
I feel you in profiling being a necessary evil. But when does it go too far. It is clear to see that this incident went too far. The police are actually trained to shoot at the head now, as not to set of any explosives that may be attached to a potential suspect. This sucks now because would be suspects don't have the chance to prove their innocence. The terrorist are truly winning. I do think that this is one of the greatest times to be black. On my travels last summer I realized that we can go anywhere in the world and not be viewed as a threat. Maybe a little disrespected and looked down upon at times but it's mostly love.  

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Re: Racial Profiling
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2005, 09:32:30 AM »
The reason the police came up with the shoot in the head first policy is because if the suicide bomber has explosives, a bullet might set it off.
Honesty has a beautiful and refreshing simplicity about it. No ulterior motives. No hidden meanings. An absence of hypocrisy, duplicity, political games, and verbal superficiality. As honesty and real integrity characterize our lives, there will be no need to manipulate others.--Chuck Swindoll

YoungIke

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Re: Racial Profiling
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2005, 09:38:03 AM »
To change coarse a bit. Since Arabs and people of Middle Eastern origin are being profiled with sometime understandable reason. Should the profiling in the black community be ok since the inner-city violence among youth is at an all time high?

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Re: Racial Profiling
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2005, 09:42:06 AM »
That's a tough question because often times they end up harassing innocent people. My father and brothers have been the victim of racial profiling because they happen to fit the description of the criminal in question...

Black male between the ages of 18-35 5'8-6'5 160-250lbs...Come on now....
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Re: Racial Profiling
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2005, 12:20:35 PM »
As a reporter, I get those descriptions all the time .. "The shooter is described a black man, average height, weight, etc.," I always wonder how much good it does to print that stuff.

And police are still definitely doing some profiling on black people. Yesterday we got a press release that said something like this. "A police officer noticed the black man in the nice car park and walk across the street. The officer ran the plates and noticed the car was stolen and that the suspect was on parole. The officer called another 35 officers to search for the suspect, who did not find him after a four-hour search."
So we called said police department to find out why the department spent so much time/money searching for this suspect -- and no one was able to give us an answer. ???
When you have somebody dying because they are poor and black or poor and white or because of whatever they are ... that erases everything that's great about this country.

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angmill08

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Re: Racial Profiling
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2005, 01:53:58 PM »
In my old neighborhood, it seemed like the police took the strategy of just stopping anyone for any reason they could, simply to run their license and check for warrants, run the plates and make sure the car wasn't stolen, and most important, shine a flashlight around in the car to look for drug paraphernalia.

Drug dealing was a huge problem there, and it was an inconvenience to be pulled over every time you "rolled" a stop sign (or just didn't stop long enough) or for biking without a tail light after dark, or for having an inspection sticker expired, or for allegedly speeding, driving too slow, weaving, whatever. The cops rarely gave tickets for these offenses if you were deferential and your record was clean and everything else was in order (often a written warning, though.)

It was funny because my neighbor borrowed a car from a mutual friend who lived in a different neighborhood and her inspection was way expired. Our friend had been driving around for months with an expired inspection sticker! This was suprizing to us b.c. in our neighborhood, you would get pulled over within the first week.

It was frustrating some times, especially when I first moved into the neighborhood. But the longer I stayed there, the more I got frustrated with the dealers and the crackheads, whose rampant petty theft was really, really aggravating. I eventually came to resent them much more than the police.

 I'm not sure what else the cops could do, really. Everyone knew who the drug dealers and users were, but the cops had to catch them in the act with something on them to bust them, and they (the dealers) were very sly about how to drop off/pick up stuff. Of course, even when someone got busted, they didn't stay in jail too long and when they got out they got right back to business. So there was a really high level of frustration from neighbors and police and everyone blamed someone else for not fixing the problem.
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faith2005

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Re: Racial Profiling
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2005, 02:39:59 PM »
this article was so shocking to me. i had no clue that the person had turned out to be an innocent person. but when i heard the report that they had shot a suspect i thought, wouldn't it be sad if he is not involved. so sad. racial profiling is a waste of time and money. its convenient, but like you pointed out angmill, it doesn't really lead to real change. there are alternatives. in the great britain situation, i am not exactly sure of what they are, b/c the train is public and people are not subject to searches like they are on a plane or a bus, but we have to figure out something.