Ah yes, the issue of ‘random’ stops and searches. One of my faves. Nope, no racial profiling here! If the following story bothers you, just repeat “Post-Racial! Post-Racial! Post-Racial!” until you feel better.
The Daily News reports:
A Brooklyn hospital manager says cops have stopped him 21 times since the NYPD began searching subway riders – and there’s no way that’s random.
Jangir Sultan, who is of South Asian descent, says in a new federal suit that the odds of his being stopped randomly that many times is 1 in 165 million.
Well, good for him for standing up and saying he’s not going to take it!
However, Mr. Sultan must be mistaken about this being racial profiling – at least if you ask the NYPD.
Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne said passengers are chosen at random intervals, such as every fifth or 10th passenger, set by a supervisor on the scene.
Quite believable, isn’t it? Interestingly, my white friends who have lived in New York since 2005 (when the ‘random’ stops started) have never been stopped. Ever. Must be a fluke!
The NYPD is on pace to stop and question a record half a million citizens this year – about 80% of them black or Latino, a new report says.
…Commissioner Paul Browne, the NYPD’s chief spokesman, said the number of minorities who were singled out under the policy is consistent with overall descriptions by race provided by victims and surviving witnesses of crime.
WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?? This post-racial racist Paul Browne has directly contradicted himself in these two quotes. If stops and searches are done at random, the racial breakdown of those stopped should reflect the racial makeup of NYC. So if instead, the NYPD have decided to stop people based on other criteria, i.e. since according to Browne they are stopping people based on race and the NYPD’s opinion as to which races are more likely to commit crimes, the NYPD is conducting racial profiling.
It reminds me of when I used to work with Somalis. They reported that their appearance, which comes from a history of African and Arab ancestors (oh no, what a scary, scary combo!), in addition with their Muslim-sounding names meant that they got ‘randomly’ stopped for extended searches and questioning almost every time they traveled by plane. The TSA officers always stressed to them that the stops were ‘random’.
Well, I guess we all now know that random has a new meaning, along the lines of “totally deliberate.”