Okay - What's So Bad About Profiling???


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CAPTAIN MIKE
July 4, 2005, 07:31 AM
I must admit - my Situational Awareness went UP a couple of notches two nights ago when there was a report on the local news about the number of gang members of different ethnic groups. It was an 'equal opportunity' report with all races covered. The part that concerned me was the dramatic rise in one particular statistic about the rise in Latino gangs because the sheer number and percentage of increase in the last year stood out from the rest.

The very next day (yesterday), my little boy and make a stop at FatBurger for our "usual" ritual (what he likes to call 'boys night out') on our way home from the movies (saw the new Batman movie). As is my custom, I choose our seats so I can see everything and everybody, with my back towards a wall and near enough to a side exit.

In comes 4 'homies' with lots of baggy clothes, headbands, goatees, attitude, open shirts long enough to cover weapons, acting all "bad" and swaggering around the place like they want to be noticed. The clothing, walk, look and attitude all spelled 'gang members' to me. So while sipping my drink, I survey the counter help guy (he's in Condition White) and the other customers (two of whom seem to be making an effort to avoid making any eye contact with them, and with the rest of whom are in Condition White).

My little boy has his back to the Homies and is in between me and them. I figure that if their entry is a first step to a robbery, it's time to get my boy and head out the side door for cover and to get him (as my first priority) out of harm's way. I also figure that if they are here to "do" the two Latino guys that appear to be avoiding eye contact, I might just have enough time to get my son out the door.

I was wearing my 1911, and had my BUG w/me (Para Ordnance Warthog in an uncomfortable ankle holster) and I knew that if something was to go down, they'd be in for a big surprise from me if needed. But I knew my 7 year old Cub Scout son was my first priority. So I came up with a suggestion that we head to an arcade (which he gladly accepted) and we bagged our food to eat on the drive there. I figured that once we were outside, out of the immediate line of fire, I can cell phone 911 if needed and stand by to render help if needed.

Turns out it was NOT needed. They were just hungry and ordered food with no problems. Just the same, I feel I took the right steps: got my loved one away from possible danger without making him scared, put myself in a covered position to call for help and engage if needed but I had to wonder if I was wrongfully typecasting young Latino males. I have mixed feelings about it and wonder what my friends here think about profiling and situational awareness.

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Remington788
July 4, 2005, 07:51 AM
I profile people all the time. If a guy is wearing a suit and tie, he is less likely to rob me than a guy wearing gang colors and baggy pants. Besides, profileing is only bad if you are the government and are trying to stop the terrorist from blowing up planes.

MAUSER88
July 4, 2005, 08:00 AM
What you did was called "smart". Always know what's around you. I have to be twice as careful in situtations like that because I'm in a state where I can't carry.

1911 guy
July 4, 2005, 08:05 AM
You responded to a situation that could have gotten ugly. It didn't, but how were you to know? A room full of business men can go to &*%, too, but it's not as likely. So these fella's ordered food and left. Great, but what if you stuck around because you didn't want to be "insensitive" and something happened and your son got hurt? I'm sure you feel the same way, but I'll take on Hell with a squirt gun for my family. Offending somebody isn't even a concern.

trooper
July 4, 2005, 08:13 AM
Okay - What's So Bad About Profiling???

Nothing, really... :)

Profiling is a valuable tool of my trade. It never ceases to amaze me that American police officers are restricted from exercising their professional experience in fighting crime just because someone might feel offended.


Regards,

Trooper

Ransom
July 4, 2005, 08:17 AM
Call me crazy but I dont like the idea of the cops stopping me when I've done absolutly nothing to deserve it. It just seems too much like fishing for a bust to me.

1 old 0311
July 4, 2005, 08:29 AM
Isn't profiling another word for common sence? I live in a semi rural condo community that has a 100% white population.If I see a "home boy" standing in front of my house at 11:00 p.m. I can assume he is not here to visit his grandmother.Give the Police the tools they need to do their job.

Kevin

1911 guy
July 4, 2005, 08:35 AM
In a way, I agree with you. However, the guys in question here didn;t come in and behave like everyone else. I really don't care what color, nationality, etc., you are. Since you're a regular poster here, it's a safe bet that you are part of mainstream society. Hold down a job, take care of your family if you have one, etc. If you don't dress like a gangbanger, act aggressive, etc., most folks will look right at you and not really see you. If you act like a threat, you will be treated like a threat.

trooper
July 4, 2005, 08:37 AM
There you go. If I see a car with Eastern European license plates driving around our rural small town at 3 a.m. I'm damn well going to stop it.


Trooper

Norton
July 4, 2005, 08:42 AM
Captain Mike,

What you did wasn't really based on any prejudice....it was based on behavior. If people, whether they be black, white, hispanic or asian, behave in a thuggish or intimidating manner then you have every reason to react to that behavior in a way in which you will best be able to prevent harm from coming to you or yours.

You did the right thing.

Marshall
July 4, 2005, 09:45 AM
It was common sense, good for you, you did well!

GT
July 4, 2005, 10:02 AM
Mike you did the righ thing, I have made similar decisions.

If you walk, talk, dress and act like a killer you should expect to be treated as a killer.

And anyway I thought you would get more respect from your peeps if you were stopped by the man.

Seems to me that this profiling nonsense is part of the whole Urban Get Out of Jail Free Card™.
Along with "I dint do nuttin", "Police bootality" and "I was jus holding it for a fren".


G

Onmilo
July 4, 2005, 10:04 AM
Racial profiling= do as I do, act as I do, speak as I do, dress as I do.
If you do not conform you are automatically labled a threat to me, my family and my way of life even though you may have no intention of ever commiting any form of crime and have no desire to inflict pain, suffering, or death on any living thing.
You just look, act and talk "funny",,,,,,,,,

Ky Larry
July 4, 2005, 10:17 AM
On occasion, I've been around people who make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Something is telling me that something isn't right. When this happens, I get my loved ones and myself out of Dodge City. This isn't profiling, just trusting my instincts.

Taurus 66
July 4, 2005, 10:26 AM
If you don't dress like a gangbanger, act aggressive, etc., most folks will look right at you and not really see you. If you act like a threat, you will be treated like a threat.

and ...

There you go. If I see a car with Eastern European license plates driving around our rural small town at 3 a.m. I'm damn well going to stop it.

: "Well that just goes to show how bigoted you are ..... that's all." :rolleyes:

Marshall
July 4, 2005, 10:50 AM
Racial profiling= do as I do, act as I do, speak as I do, dress as I do. If you do not conform you are automatically labeled a threat to me, my family and my way of life even though you may have no intention of ever committing any form of crime and have no desire to inflict pain, suffering, or death on any living thing. You just look, act and talk "funny",,,,,,,,,

I think you missed the point. No one has suggested you have to look and talk like them. But, if you're dressing like gang bangers, be prepared to be treated like one. You have to take responsibility for your own choices too and yes, your appearance comes into play whether you like it or not.

Matter of fact, you're expecting too much. You would be asking people to not evoke a protective mindset when in the presence of people that have chosen to appear like potentially harmful people. If I am in a bank and a man comes in with a hanky over half his face, you can bet your ass I'm instantly going to form an opinion based on his chosen appearance.

Trying to keep folks from using common sense and calling them racist is ridiculous. Don't like it? You have choices.

obiwan1
July 4, 2005, 10:52 AM
You did the right thing for the right reasons. Remington 788 and Trooper are more right than people (sheeple) will ever know. Listen to your instincts, they're screaming at you! :scrutiny:

Mannlicher
July 4, 2005, 10:53 AM
Sounds like an overactive imagination to me, but you did have good situational awarness.
I am always glad when nothing 'went South'.

CombatArmsUSAF
July 4, 2005, 10:58 AM
Speaking from family and personal experience
Large majority of dealings police have in cleveland is with minorities. it's common sense. WHo is more likely to have a criminal intent? The business man driving a 5 series BMW through my city or the Cadillac escalade with 24 inch rims filled with 5 gangbanger look alikes? Like I said COMMON SENSE

ezypikns
July 4, 2005, 11:04 AM
but we need to remind ourselves that the person who robs the place and and hurts innocent people just might not be a member of a minority. We all should be alert to all possibilites.

nico
July 4, 2005, 11:19 AM
If you don't dress like a gangbanger, act aggressive, etc., most folks will look right at you and not really see you. If you act like a threat, you will be treated like a threat.
absolutely. The thing is, a lot of kids (and young adults) dress "like gangbangers" intentionally. They like to intimidate people, even if they're not actually going to do anything, because it makes them feel tough. They LIKE it when people profile them if it instills fear. It's just when it inconveniences them that they complain about it.

ezypikns, it's not about whether someone is a minority or not, it's about how they act/carry themselves and (less importantly) how they dress. I'm a minority, and I usually wear relatively baggy clothes, and I can guarantee I've never given someone the feeling that Mike had in the situation he described because I don't carry myself or act like I'm looking for trouble.

Stauble
July 4, 2005, 11:27 AM
well lets put it thius way
no little old white lady ever tried to hijack an Airplane
middle age middle eastern people have

no little old white lady ever tried too hold up a McDonalds
young latinos (whites and blacks too) have been known to do that from time to time

in conclusion i profile all the time
it may be politically incorrect but i really dont care

Mauserguy
July 4, 2005, 11:30 AM
"I live in a semi rural condo community that has a 100% white population.If I see a "home boy" standing in front of my house at 11:00 p.m. I can assume he is not here to visit his grandmother.Give the Police the tools they need to do their job."


Hey, that's me. I left a friend's house the other night about 11:00PM. While driving home I got a call from a lady friend, just back from France. I pulled over to talk on my cell phone; I don't like to talk and drive. While sitting there on the phone, two squad cars pulled up and blocked me in. The cop came over, asked me what I was doing, asked to see my identification, said, "Good night, Sir," and left. They were very professional and courteous.
Mauserguy

ctdonath
July 4, 2005, 11:38 AM
The problem is drawing a line between "profiling" and "prejudice".

1911 guy
July 4, 2005, 11:44 AM
The problem is drawing a line between "profiling" and "prejudice".

Exactly. Some folks I know shy away from profiling at all, others use it as a cover for their bigotry.

trooper
July 4, 2005, 02:34 PM
That's right. But if I put the other guy in a certain group based on his looks, behaviour, age, ethnic background, dress and location AND realize that according to my personal experience members of that particular group have a higher probability of being a BG I wouldn't call that prejudice.

I will NOT automatically assume that he is a criminal, but I will stop him, give him a closer look and then decide if further actions are needed. And I see nothing wrong with that.


Trooper

Andrew Rothman
July 4, 2005, 03:44 PM
WHo is more likely to have a criminal intent? The business man driving a 5 series BMW through my city or the Cadillac escalade with 24 inch rims filled with 5 gangbanger look alikes?

Well, it depends if the BMW guy is Kenneth Lay, Jeffrey Skilling, Richard Scrushy, Bernard Ebbers or Dennis Kozlowski. :D



It's really simple, guys. Profiling on race is wrong, and it's dumb: The VAST majority of folk of any race are law-abiding.

Profiling on BEHAVIOR, however, is smart.

(And the wannabes would do well to stop looking like thugs if they don't want to be treated like them.)

Gordon Fink
July 4, 2005, 04:06 PM
Wasn’t the “beltway sniper” a white loner?

~G. Fink

Marshall
July 4, 2005, 04:23 PM
There's all colors of people committing crimes and killing people. The point is their looks, dress, behavior and attitude. If I see a white man with his eyes glazed like donuts and wired to the max, I'm going to have the same response as I would have to any color gang bangers or Arabs wearing a heavy coat in the summer or anyone loading fertilizer into a Ryder rental truck.

It all go back to being aware of your surrounding, being observant and using common sense to keep apprised of potential dangers around you and your loved ones.

natedog
July 4, 2005, 04:25 PM
There's a difference between profilling based on character, action, dress, etc. and profiling based on race/ethnicity.

Scenario A) Man walks into bank with ski mask on, gun in hand.

Scenario B) A minority walks into a bank.

Profiling A would be smart. Profiling B would be wrong.

NeveraVictimAgain
July 4, 2005, 06:02 PM
The problem with profiling is that it gets innocent people in trouble. An excellant and almost humorous example was when the cops in FL stopped a man for being black and having an expensive car. Although he fit the profile of a drug dealer, they were embarassed to learn he was a D. A. ! :eek:

torpid
July 4, 2005, 06:13 PM
Scenario A) Man walks into bank with ski mask on, gun in hand.

Scenario B) A minority walks into a bank.

Scenario C) A person walks into a bank with ski mask on during a very cold day, clutching a frozen wad of bills and a deposit slip in a mittened hand- you can't tell the person's ethnicity, but you suspect that the person is either a female Samoan undercover officer, or an elderly Kyrgyzstani gentleman bank robber.

??? :uhoh: ???

Scenario D) Sorry, July 4th- the bank is closed today.

.

bakert
July 4, 2005, 06:20 PM
The racial thing always comes up in profiling but what if a LEO stops a carload of young white guys driving around in a predominately black or hispanic neighborhood in the middle of the night? Is that racial profiling. It sure looks strange. I think most cops use common sense when something doesn't look right.

jeff-10
July 4, 2005, 06:22 PM
Everyone in this thread should see the movie Crash and pay close attention to the opening car jacking scene. It is a great movie.

trooper
July 4, 2005, 06:34 PM
The problem with profiling is that it gets innocent people in trouble. An excellant and almost humorous example was when the cops in FL stopped a man for being black and having an expensive car. Although he fit the profile of a drug dealer, they were embarassed to learn he was a D. A. !

So what? No harm done, as I suppose they didn't haul him off to prison or strip-searched him just because he was a black dude in an expensive car...

At least it'd be perfectly fine over here to stop him. According to German law I can conduct a simple traffic stop whenever I see fit, just for the purpose of checking the driver's license, registration and doing a brief safety inspection of the vehicle. And during the stop I have more than enough time and opportunity to determine if there is cause for further actions (based on the grounds that all the good folks mentioned earlier in this thread ).


Regards,

Trooper

torpid
July 4, 2005, 06:37 PM
So what? No harm done, as I suppose they didn't haul him off to prison or strip-searched him just because he was a black dude in an expensive car...

At least it'd be perfectly fine over here to stop him. According to German law I can conduct a simple traffic stop whenever I see fit, just for the purpose of checking the driver's license, registration and doing a brief safety inspection of the vehicle. And during the stop I have more than enough time and opportunity to determine if there is cause for further actions (based on the grounds that all the good folks mentioned earlier in this thread ).

Oh, I SO want to say something here...
(but I won't)

:D

.

WT
July 4, 2005, 07:24 PM
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- A state police sergeant claims top brass discouraged chasing vehicles on the Garden State Parkway because they feared being accused of racial profiling.

Sgt. Richard Gacina, who claims he was disciplined for engaging in three motor vehicle pursuits on the parkway, is suing the force and top law enforcement officials. His lawsuit claims state police began discouraging chases after a 1999 agreement with federal authorities to end the practice of stopping motorists based on their race.

''State troopers were discouraged from becoming involved in any motor vehicle pursuits, even when the wrongdoers were committing a violation in front of a state trooper.''

Gacina claims that after engaging in three pursuits he was criticized by superiors for violating procedures. He said he has been harassed by supervisors since then.

LaEscopeta
July 4, 2005, 07:26 PM
I agree with the above comments on behavior profiling being OK and required, but not racial, looks, or dress profiling.

Taking the racial profiling a step further, it opens a hole for the smartest of our enemies to walk through.

29 years ago today Israeli commandos rescued hostages held by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) (and by the Ugandan government) at Entebbe airport. Most people have heard of the rescue. Most people forget the PFLP used two Europeans and one South American among the 4 terrorists that hijacked the Air France Flight (3 additional terrorists of Arab origin joined the group in Uganda.) They used non-Arabs for the hijacking because the knew Air France was using racial profiling to check for terrorists, and the PFLP picked people they know would waltz right through the security profiling. (I may have the numbers wrong; memory the second thing to go when you get old.)

You all remember John Walker Lindh? The loony California kid who converted the Islam? So far so good, but he went to Afghanistan and ended up fighting for Al-Qaeda.

David Hicks, an Australian of British origin, also converted to Islam, and is now in Guantanamo Bay, also for fighting for Al-Qaeda.

The first step to defeat is to underestimate your enemy. Al-Qaeda has proven it self extremely capable is assessing our security, and finding the holes. And they can recruit people that that don’t fit any racial profile we care to use. Using racial profiling is like building a 3 sides of a wall, and thinking the enemy will not attack from the 4th side, because they have not done so in the past.

[Edited to change "3rd" to "4th" in last sentence.]

Pilgrim
July 4, 2005, 07:57 PM
Turns out it was NOT needed. They were just hungry and ordered food with no problems. Just the same, I feel I took the right steps: got my loved one away from possible danger without making him scared, put myself in a covered position to call for help and engage if needed but I had to wonder if I was wrongfully typecasting young Latino males. I have mixed feelings about it and wonder what my friends here think about profiling and situational awareness.

Years ago the Modified Motorcycle Association used to gather at the fairgrounds in Hanford, CA. My wife and I were having dinner when a large group of bikers and their women came into the restaruant. The owner, a good friend, said, "What should I do?"

I said, "Wait on them. They look hungry."

The owner later said they were the nicest customers, were very polite, and tipped handsomely.

Looks can be deceiving.

Pilgrim

Standing Wolf
July 4, 2005, 08:04 PM
People who dress like thugs, talk like thugs, and act like thugs are much more likely to be thugs than those who don't.

Biker
July 4, 2005, 08:16 PM
Very true. I guess that we don't have to worry about folks who dress like Ken Lay (sp?). ;)
Biker

Mauserguy
July 4, 2005, 08:28 PM
"The racial thing always comes up in profiling but what if a LEO stops a carload of young white guys driving around in a predominately black or hispanic neighborhood in the middle of the night? Is that racial profiling. It sure looks strange. I think most cops use common sense when something doesn't look right."

Hey, that happened to me too. I was going to see the Weatherby factory in South LA many years ago. I got there and found that they had closed the week before, so I turned to leave. I saw in the distance a landmark, the Watts Towers, "oh neato, I want to see them." I drove over there, and was looking arround when a big unmarked car drove up. It was the LAPD Crash division. They told me to beat it, and I did.
Mauserguy

PS: I think the detective, a older latino fellow, was concerned about my safety in that 'hood.

Marshall
July 4, 2005, 09:29 PM
LaEscopeta,
Using racial profiling is like building a 3 sides of a wall, and thinking the enemy will not attack from the 3rd side, because they have not done so in the past.

Agreed, sort of. However, you can't overlook or turn your back on the likely. In this case, profiling is just a tool like anything else, a tool to make sure all 4 sides of your wall are covered as well as they can be. Profiling is used for fighting Al Qaeda just as we use race to infiltrate for intelligence. Just tools.

Augustus
July 4, 2005, 10:23 PM
By all means Profile. Enough of this stupid PC crap. :cuss: :cuss: :cuss:

atek3
July 4, 2005, 10:49 PM
There you go. If I see a car with Eastern European license plates driving around our rural small town at 3 a.m. I'm damn well going to stop it

ahah. thats funny. here in the states we call that offense "driving while black" "DWB" it seems zee germans call it "driving while eastern european"

I'm glad I don't live in Germany.

atek3

pauli
July 4, 2005, 11:09 PM
one does oneself a disservice to judge others by the behavior of those they resemble, rather than the actual behavior on hand.

or, to look at it from another perspective: from time to time, i read something that reminds me that i'd rather not be judged based on the behavior of certain other white, male, gun owning americans... even on the high road.

(and with all due respect to trooper, i agree with atek3)

Farnham
July 5, 2005, 12:41 AM
Profiling is bad. Avoiding the appearance of profiling, because you don't want to appear racist, is worse.

I used to drive through the Border Patrol checkpoint on I-15 north of San Diego county every day, and watched several carloads of tourists (usually families) get pulled over, while numerous cars with Baja license plates and 5-8 young, male, Hispanic (and obviously nervous) occupants went through scott free.

I also find it annoying that respectable appearing, older men and women (black, white, Arab, Asian, and Hispanic) get pulled into the "closer inspection" line at the airport more than the obvious angry-young-man types. I assume this is because the TSA doesn't want to get slammed with a "profiling" accusation, but still must justify it's existence.

I profile every day, and so does everyone else, if they're paying attention. You did good.

S/F

Farnham

No_Brakes23
July 5, 2005, 03:37 AM
Good Profiling: Recognizing common factors that create a possible threat.

Bad Profiling: The fact that cops frequently pull me over for lame excuses in my wife's Japanese car, (Unmodified, but I MUST be a Street Racer,) but I can drive Hell for Leather in my SUV, and I am nearly invisible to them.

Good Profiling: What Captain Mike did with his son.

Bad Profiling: A cop stopping a Black buy in a nice car because he is a Black guy in a nice car.

The truth of the matter is that cops can and will pull you over for the silliest of reasons if they think they need to. Is it right? No. Is it legal? Well, unless the cop is an idiot, yes. And in reality, their ability to tell when something isn't right helps them get some scumbags off the street for a bit.

Everytime I see the gumballs flashing, I sigh. But I maintain my respectful attitude and show Herr Officer my papers and then go about my day. And then I laugh about his retarded excuse for pulling me over and hope that he finds whatever the hell he is looking for in the next car he pulls over.

(As a footnote, please do not mistake my comments for cop-bashing, I have had plenty of decent cops who helped me out, or let me go with a warning when I got caught over the limit. Those guys tend to balance out the pencil-necked geeks who need to push someone around. Plus some of my best friends became LEOs after they left the Corps, and their stories give me a different perspective.)

bigun15
July 5, 2005, 03:46 AM
If they were dressed/acting like that, they should expect it. They want to be (assuming they're not) gang members, they'll be treated like they are by others.

trooper
July 5, 2005, 04:27 AM
ahah. thats funny. here in the states we call that offense "driving while black" "DWB" it seems zee germans call it "driving while eastern european"

I'm glad I don't live in Germany.

Well, a lot of the organized crime over here are being committed by Eastern European gangs/syndicates. Actually it's quite possible to trace different types of crime to gang/organisations of different nationalities. In the past we've had predominantly Romanian gangs doing burglaries in residential areas, Polish and Lithuanian organsiations specializing in car theft and Russians and Albanians running the prostitution business.

For the sake of PC I'll add that I don't attribute their behaviour to their nationality. I traveled to some of those countries, met some very nice folks there and also had a very good working relationship with Polish law enforcement in my last job as a Border Police officer.

But if I have an ongoing burglary series in my county and encounter a car with three young men and a license plate that fits the profile at 3 o' clock in the morning I'd be stupid not to stop it.


Regards,

Trooper

Molon Labe
July 5, 2005, 08:15 AM
Profiling works. No question about it.

So the question should not be, "Does profiling work?" The question should be, "Is it right to profile people?"

AK-74me
July 5, 2005, 08:40 AM
So the question should not be, "Does profiling work?" The question should be, "Is it right to profile people?"

Yes because if your wrong someone gets their panties in a bunch but no harm no foul.

But if you don't profile and it turns out to be something stuff like 9/11 can happen.

buzz_knox
July 5, 2005, 09:17 AM
People who dress like thugs, talk like thugs, and act like thugs are much more likely to be thugs than those who don't.

Define thug. If you don't wear a suit, you might look like a thug to someone who does.

1911 guy
July 5, 2005, 10:41 AM
While in a broader sense the comments written here are valid, they do not deal with the situations most of us (average Joe's) will face. Just to get the argument started, I'll go with the Ken Lay comment. Yes, the man is a crook and a liar, but did he present a physical threat to anyone in the commission of his crimes? No.
Now on to the DWB comments. I agree wholeheartedly that if you are pulled over just because you are "DWB", then you have a very legit complaint. No excuse for couching bigotry in any terms other than what it is - racism. However, if you want to walk around with your pants hanging down, shoes unlaced, shirt three sizes too big, ball cap on sideways and wear a Mr. T starter set, be prepared to deal with the bias you bring on yourself.
As for looking like a gangbanger if you wear anything other than a suit, plug your brain back in. We've all seen folks of every color and nationality in stores, on the street, even in movie theaters where this thread started, wearing jeans and tee shirts or some other casual wear and not thought twice about it.

buzz_knox
July 5, 2005, 10:47 AM
As for looking like a gangbanger if you wear anything other than a suit, plug your brain back in. We've all seen folks of every color and nationality in stores, on the street, even in movie theaters where this thread started, wearing jeans and tee shirts or some other casual wear and not thought twice about it

My brain's fully plugged in, thank you. But have you taken into consideration that use of a term "thug" demands a definition of what a thug is and how things tend to be relative. So, the question went to establishing a common understanding of terms before having the discussion, as well as showing how such terms are relative to the observer. Now that I've explained it to you, would you like to have a discussion absent the insults?

AK-74me
July 5, 2005, 11:05 AM
. But have you taken into consideration that use of a term "thug" demands a definition of what a thug is and how things tend to be relative.

I think most people understand it as this.

However, if you want to walk around with your pants hanging down, shoes unlaced, shirt three sizes too big, ball cap on sideways and wear a Mr. T starter set

And if people want to dress that way that is their perogative but, based on experinces those are typically the ones who cause trouble, they should be prepared to be treated differently and looked at more suspcious.

buzz_knox
July 5, 2005, 11:11 AM
Treated differently by who? By average citizens? Sure. By the police? Not unless they have done something which gives the police reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. One's appearance (including manner of dress) is still covered by the First Amendment.

AK-74me
July 5, 2005, 11:30 AM
Hey man just cause a cop puts a uniform on dosen't make stop thinking what he thinks out of uniform. I am not talking about unprovoked police beatings here. I am saying that the people who typically commit the types of crimes we are talking about have a certain look whether it is the "thug look" or the "wife beater redneck white guy". Certain people stand out and they should be treated with extra attention. Tell me, who you would be more concerned about walking behind you? A group of young latino males with already mentioned attire or a middle aged guy of any race dressed in a polo and dockers.

Now sure that well dressed guy could be a pick pocket or even a murderer but you can't tell me that just based on apperance alone the "thug types " don't worry you more.

1911 guy
July 5, 2005, 11:32 AM
for the personal comment, after re-reading it I can see that I may well have been out of line. I will stick to my position, though, that some folks in this discussion seem to be out looking for a reason to be offended. If you have made up your mind to present yourself as someone you're not, be prepared to be treated like someone you're not. We can all dress casual and not appear bedraggled or menacing, we can all act in non-confrontational ways. Failure to do so is on the part of the bedraggled, menacing and confrontational.

Tim3256
July 5, 2005, 11:41 AM
If you go up to tuck your kids in for the night and discover a wolf in the bedroom, do you just let the wolf alone because the wolf hasn't acted badly YET????? Or do you remove the predator, in accordance with the profile of a wolf? Duh.
I profile all day, every day. So do you. And I'm not talking about racism here, either... so you can zip your soup cooler before you start throwin that crap around. I don't give a whistle what damn color you are. I'm white, and there are plenty of white devils I wouldn't mind seeing planted, it aint about that. My kids won't be camping with Micheal Jackson or any catholic priests any time soon. Unfair? Whatever.
A wolf doesn't decide to be a threat, he just is. Does that make him "good" or "bad"? No. Profiling is therefore OK in this case, correct. Alright then.
Profiling is completely natural and reasonable. If you mimick the traits and cultivate image of the wolf, what do you expect? If you're a "bad dude", then you're probably advertising, and I'll most likely notice, at the very least. What you're doing is a choice, does that make you "good" or "bad" maybe, maybe not. But you WILL be watched; and since you DECIDED to adopt the image of the predator, I say "oh, well Jackass. Deal with it, or take it down some".
BTW: Conformity isn't ALWAYS bad, people. Laws, rules, conventions and social norms are required for any society to function in any meaningful manner.

Werewolf
July 5, 2005, 11:46 AM
Hmmmm....

It seems that terms and their definitions probably are important in any discussion of profiling.

For example when I hear or read the term thug the first thing that comes to my mind is an image of a heavily built (think built like a BULL) Italian guy in a black suit, white shirt and a narrow black tie wearing dark sunglasses. That image just screams THUG.

Gang Banger on the other hand brings to my mind the image of a young male, 16-20 years old, probably black or hispanic but maybe white, wearing his pants down around the middle of his thigh, some type of sleeveless athletic shirt, a rediculous haircut or a hat worn in a manner that implies he's either too stupid or too spastic to put it on right. He can't walk either, he struts in such an exagerated manner as to make one wonder if he's got some kind of birth defect that prevents him from walking correctly. When he opens his mouth to speak (and I use the term speak not sure if that's what they do at all) what comes out isn't english but some bastardized version of same.

Now I imagine that the image that comes to mind for others when they hear terms like thug and gangbanger are way different than mine. Thus defining terms prior to any serious discussion of profiling is most appropriate.

Regarding profiling:
In my 53 years I've run into/across both types of folks described above. Based on my experience what I would term profiling essentially just focuses the already on radar beam but forces no action.

Regarding the gang banger type it's usually pretty easy to distinguish between the real thing and the wannabees.

On the other hand, thugs - real thugs, are a different matter entirely. I've learned that they come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes. Live and learn as the saying goes...

Gordon Fink
July 5, 2005, 12:01 PM
[sigh]

All right. Let’s profile!

urban black = ghetto gangster
urban hispanic = barrio gangster
dirty Italian = small-time mafia gangster
clean Italian = big-time mafia gangster
white biker = biker gangster
young Asian = gangster/street racer
Chinese person = triad gangster

swarthy foreigner = international terrorist
turban wearer = Islamic terrorist
white Christian = domestic terrorist
Irish person = IRA terrorist

native American = alcoholic beggar
Irish person = violent alcoholic
English person = brawling alcoholic
urban minority = drug addict
urban white = drug addict
any homeless = alcoholic drug addict

white businessman = white-collar criminal
rural hispanic = illegal alien
rural white = violent racist
urban white = violent racist
middle-aged white male = serial killer
any European = soccer hooligan
any foreigner = pickpocket
Gypsies = these guys are all criminals too, right?

I probably left some out, but I’m already too scared to ever leave home again!

~G. Fink

Biker
July 5, 2005, 12:08 PM
"white biker=biker gangster"

Nah....how 'bout white biker= "caucasion motorycycle enthusiast with rebellious tendancies"?
Heh heh.....

Biker
:neener:

buzz_knox
July 5, 2005, 12:10 PM
Certain people stand out and they should be treated with extra attention. Tell me, who you would be more concerned about walking behind you? A group of young latino males with already mentioned attire or a middle aged guy of any race dressed in a polo and dockers.

Personally, I don't trust anyone unless (1) I know them and (2) they've earned it. Everyone gets a first hard look, regardless of age, sex, or gender. Whether they get another look depends on what the first one says, not what they are wearing. You can tell a poser from a problem real easy.

Personally, the first people who get looks from me are the cops in the area. I want to see if they've got that tough guy look that often comes from people who wanted a badge for all the wrong reasons. If they don't have that look, then I don't worry about them. If they do, they are the first ones I worry about and stay away from.

Rickstir
July 5, 2005, 12:13 PM
I have a nephew that is an Italian American LEO in St. Louis. He told me under no circumstances would he pull over an African American for speeding. Not worth the profiling hassle from the brass. So the African American community has us right where they want us. If you ever drive on I-55 from St. Louis to Memphis or beyond, you will be passed by African Americans riding in convoys of three to four cars, all going 90 to 100 mph. Not just once, but several times per hour particularly on Friday (south bound) and Sunday (north bound). Never see them pulled over.

buzz_knox
July 5, 2005, 12:20 PM
I have a nephew that is an Italian American LEO in St. Louis. He told me under no circumstances would he pull over an African American for speeding. Not worth the profiling hassle from the brass.

You've identified the second problem with profiling. The first is, obviously, the vast opportunity for mistreatement that comes with it. The second is the backlash to said abuse or perceived abuse. We can't profile young Arab males getting onto planes because we don't want to tick off the Arab community. Yet, if there weren't many instances of people being pulled over and interrogated simply because of a profile and not because of probable cause, then the issue wouldn't have been as heated.

Profiling is a tool that allows for enhanced observations. Profiling is not reasonable suspicion or probable cause, which many people have used it as.

AK-74me
July 5, 2005, 01:18 PM
For example when I hear or read the term thug the first thing that comes to my mind is an image of a heavily built (think built like a BULL) Italian guy in a black suit, white shirt and a narrow black tie wearing dark sunglasses. That image just screams THUG.

This is a generational thing. I know the image you are referring to when you say "thug" but that is somewhat........ I don't know..... an older defintion maybe. Today the term "thug" is used in many rap songs and the ones as you refer to as gang bangers, get tattoos that say "thug life" and the such and refer to themselves as thugs. See Trick Daddy- "Cause baby I'm a thug"

AK-74me
July 5, 2005, 01:29 PM
Personally, I don't trust anyone unless (1) I know them and (2) they've earned it. Everyone gets a first hard look, regardless of age, sex, or gender. Whether they get another look depends on what the first one says, not what they are wearing. You can tell a poser from a problem real easy.

I didn't say trust, I am not talking about giving someone the PIN number to my ATM card. I am talking about odds here. What are the odds of this group doing something crazy compared to that group. Old people probably not going to sucker punch me from behind, group of rowdy teens dressed in bagggy pants, side ways hats.... probably won't either but the odds are alot higher. It is that simple. It just means I am going to be on a little higher alert with these kind of people around.

Gordon Fink
July 5, 2005, 01:35 PM
Profiling is a tool that allows for enhanced observations. Profiling is not reasonable suspicion or probable cause, which many people have used it as.

Bingo!

~G. Fink

buzz_knox
July 5, 2005, 01:47 PM
I didn't say trust, I am not talking about giving someone the PIN number to my ATM card. I am talking about odds here. What are the odds of this group doing something crazy compared to that group. Old people probably not going to sucker punch me from behind, group of rowdy teens dressed in bagggy pants, side ways hats.... probably won't either but the odds are alot higher. It is that simple. It just means I am going to be on a little higher alert with these kind of people around.

In this circumstance, "trust" meant not taking my eyes off them, not keeping them in my peripheral vision, or simply not leaving the area they are currently inhabiting.

As for people wearing stupid clothes, I'm usually more concerned about the ones doing their best not to attract attention to themselves. Sure, punks of various sorts might try to start something, but I can usually rely on their stupidity to give them away long before they are in range.

SalukiFan
July 5, 2005, 03:13 PM
When I think of profiliing (as an individual rather than an LEO) I think of the book The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker.

One of the things that he talks about is that people have gut instincts about others that they should pay attention to. If someone makes the hair on the back of your neck raise up, you shouldn't ignore it and tell yourself that you are being unfair to the person.

One of the things that de Becker points out is that many people, especially women, feel pressured to ignore these feelings of danger out of fear of hurting someone's feelings by not giving them the benefit of the doubt. Your self-preservation is the most important thing!

I also agree with what others have said about profiling behavior rather than race. Like LaEscopeta said, focusing too much on looking at race could be opening a backdoor for terrorists. Personally, I like what El Al Airlines has done - they know how to screen for terrorists.

I've never flown with El Al but my partner flew to Israel a few months ago and she told me all about the security precautions they took. First of all, El Al has workers (I'm told they are psychologists) that personally quiz passengers. These are not the standard, "Did you pack your own bags?" schlock, they are rapid fire questions about your travel plans, personal history, etc. that are designed to trip up people who are not telling the truth. If someone is sweating, giving conflicting answers, etc., you might have a problem and you need to take a closer look.

If you pass this test, you can get on the plane but you'll always have at least one armed guard disguised in plainclothes on the flight with you.

I just wish I could get all domestic flights with El-Al!

trooper
July 5, 2005, 03:33 PM
Profiling is a tool that allows for enhanced observations. Profiling is not reasonable suspicion or probable cause, which many people have used it as.

Bingo indeed. That's pretty much what I wanted to express earlier.


Trooper

odysseus
July 5, 2005, 05:00 PM
... I am getting poor giving away these pennies! :neener:

In every race/nationality there is trash. Wrongdoin' evil doesn't discriminate, nor should you. The trick is in knowing that, and picking out the trash. For me, some of it is obvious with "bad boy" types which some profiling works... but for me you need to be more wary on what their behavior is indicating - and ethnic/clothing/attitude can be deceiving.

Snookay
July 5, 2005, 05:51 PM
Post #1. You're a lil too on edge IMO. You must realize the "homies" dress according to their age and peers. The "code white" ???? cracked me up :)

Maybe next time you should just say "hello or how are yall doing."

Post #2. So you profile clothes basically. :p Thats pretty stupid man. I look like a "homie" most days and other days I wear my suit and tie. No matter what clothes i have on I'm a nice guy.

a lot of clean cut white boys are basically in gangs, do you profile tthem as well??? If not, you should.

Biker
July 5, 2005, 06:00 PM
I guess it's all relative to your experiences, imo. For example, I can eyeball a scooter tramp and at a glance see things the average person would miss after many minutes of staring at the individual. How old is the leather? Tats? (81s)...
How old is the ink? Color and style of bike? ( A certain club paints all of theirs flat black). Demeanor..numbers...visible armament...on scoots or in cages...it all adds up.
Biker

thorn726
July 6, 2005, 03:12 AM
so at first i think maybe you are overreacting a bit.
but this
swaggering around the place like they want to be noticed

hits me two ways- one they are idiots not about to do more than be annoying,
or they wouldnt be calling attention to themsleves-
2) Ha! you shoulda put your hand definitively on the ole' piece and scared the hell out of THEM and maybe theyd not be such jerks in the future, especially AFTER you determine they are not a real threat

that might be asking for it, but usually people going out of their way to get noticed , are retards, and are put in their place easily.

cookekdjr
July 6, 2005, 11:18 AM
Racial profiling= do as I do, act as I do, speak as I do, dress as I do.
If you do not conform you are automatically labled a threat to me, my family and my way of life even though you may have no intention of ever commiting any form of crime and have no desire to inflict pain, suffering, or death on any living thing.
You just look, act and talk "funny",,,,,,,,,

Wrong.
Racial profiling = pulling a car because the driver is black.
Profiling = customs agents stop black women flying from Nigeria to NYC for a one day business trip carrying no luggage, large amounts of cash, and sporting facial scars indicative of small Nigerian tribes whose members are recruited to smuggle herion in their body cavities on one-day business trips to NYC while carrying large amounts of cash.
See the difference?
-D

buzz_knox
July 6, 2005, 11:24 AM
Racial profiling = pulling a car because the driver is black.
Profiling = customs agents stop black women flying from Nigeria to NYC for a one day business trip carrying no luggage, large amounts of cash, and sporting facial scars indicative of small Nigerian tribes whose members are recruited to smuggle herion in their body cavities on one-day business trips to NYC while carrying large amounts of cash.
See the difference?
-D


How often is that difference applied in the real world? If someone fits a criteria that makes them suspect, that's one thing. But all too often, that criteria consists of nothing more than "not the right kind of people for a given neighborhood."

cookekdjr
July 6, 2005, 11:30 AM
I'm a prosecutor. The real world is the only one I deal with.
-David

buzz_knox
July 6, 2005, 12:58 PM
And I'm an attorney, and have served as counsel for a federal law enforcement agency. What's your point? That the "real world" doesn't include what I've described? If so, better explain that the to the state and muncipal law enforcement agencies that have publicly acknowledged such activities as I've described.

cookekdjr
July 6, 2005, 02:32 PM
And I'm an attorney, and have served as counsel for a federal law enforcement agency. What's your point? That the "real world" doesn't include what I've described? If so, better explain that the to the state and muncipal law enforcement agencies that have publicly acknowledged such activities as I've described.
I took it by your question ("How often is that difference applied in the real world?") that this was not something you dealt with every day (like I do). Maybe I'm confused here. If you deal with this every day, then you know that profiles, to be effective, must include a number of specific characteristics. If you're just pulling over everybody of a specific race, its racial profiling, its wrong, and you'll get in trouble with the Justice Department (like, say, Villa Rica, Georgia's Police Department ;) ).
Racial profiling by one individual happens, but it can't go on very long. Other police officers won't tolerate it, and sooner or later the feds will get you.
-David

heypete
July 6, 2005, 03:17 PM
My profiling experience is a bit more mundane that many others here. I'm a 22-year-old white guy, 6' tall, average build, maybe 10-20lbs overweight (foot injury, can't exercise, recovering from surgery now). I'm a geek, and dress accordingly, though I sometimes wear polo shirts and leather shoes. Blue jeans go with everything, and I have a few pairs that are a size or two too large specifically so I can carry comfortably...well, I could carry comfortably while I was in WA, now I'm back in CA, I can't. :fire: I digress.

I was browsing around one of the gun shops in the Bay Area, minding my own business. While not well-known to the shopkeepers, they recognize me, recall I've spent several thousand dollars there, and am, to the best of their knowledge, a lawful, good citizen. I say "please" and "thank you" when asking to see various powders, guns, etc.

In walks a young man, 18-22, white, wearing incredibly oversized jeans. Shoes are invisible beneath the baggy pants. He's wearing a basketball jersey that comes halfway down his thighs, a baseball cap on sideways, and frequently gestures with his hands while talking. These gestures are often the sort of "puffing up" gestures one sees from "thuggish" types, and are common in pop-culture rap music videos and so forth. While not confrontational, he is very upfront, direct, and invasive. He displays an immediate interest in the numerous pistols on display under the glass. Rather than looking at all the pistols more suitable for everyday use such as Glocks, 1911s, Walthers, S&Ws, Sigs, H&Ks, etc., he immediately makes a beeline for the S&W .500 Mag revolver.

The shopkeeper, who I know carries concealed in his shop, casually unbuttons his vest. He's obviously got the same bad feeling about this guy that I do.

The young man utters various words of admiration and interest, and seems to be unconcerned with the massive recoil and cost of this particular firearm, and makes comments that he's more interested in the "bling" factor than the actual utility of that revolver.

When he asks to handle the revolver, he asks in a rather brusque, impolite fashion. Obviously sensing something is wrong, the shopkeeper politely declines. Young guy whines a bit, then offers to buy it. Shopkeeper says that he's welcome to buy it, so long as he had a means of paying for it and fills out the 4473. Kid inquires about paperless transaction (alarm bells start going off in my head here, as the kid asked about this IN THE MIDDLE OF A GUN STORE with other customers around). Shopkeep declines, stating that the law requires paperwork and a NICS check. Kid asks if they take credit cards, to which the shopkeeper replies in the affirmative. Kid inquires if they accept credit cards over the phone, explaining that his grandmother would be paying for this. Shopkeeper again declines, stating that they need the card here in person, and the individual buying the gun must be the one paying for it. Repeated inquiries and requests are all met in the negative.

Kid turns to leave, and says something along the lines of "if I had a gun already, you'd probably sell it to me, wouldn't you?", then leaves.

I'm not entirely sure what to make of this last comment (not-so-thinly-veiled threat?), but something was definitely unusual. Perhaps it was nothing, but the hair on my neck was standing up, the second guy behind the counter moved casually to an area where he'd have a good field of fire on the customer, and me, being unarmed, moved out of the potential crossfire area near where all the long guns were kept on racks. If S were to HTF, I could readily grab a rifle (one can pick up and handle them, as they're on the shop floor) and buttstroke the bad guy if it came down to it. (Perhaps a bayonet charge? :evil: I know that would probably reflect badly in court, and isn't really a serious solution, but fun to think about.)

Sure, I was profiling, but it was based solely on behavior, demeanor, actual speech, method of speech, and appearance. In this case, it was nice that things worked out well, and I was able to go home that night. No harm, no foul to anyone involved, though the adrenaline was flowing a bit.

Wow, this turned out to be quite a bit longer than I thought. Sorry.

thorn726
July 6, 2005, 03:21 PM
cookekdjr=

nice ! very excellent way to define the difference-
Wrong.
Racial profiling = pulling a car because the driver is black.
Profiling = customs agents stop black women flying from Nigeria to NYC for a one day business trip carrying no luggage, large amounts of cash, and sporting facial scars indicative of small Nigerian tribes whose members are recruited to smuggle herion in their body cavities on one-day business trips to NYC while carrying large amounts of cash.
See the difference?

CombatArmsUSAF
July 6, 2005, 04:09 PM
On scoots or in cages? What does that mean?

buzz_knox
July 6, 2005, 04:15 PM
took it by your question ("How often is that difference applied in the real world?") that this was not something you dealt with every day (like I do). Maybe I'm confused here. If you deal with this every day, then you know that profiles, to be effective, must include a number of specific characteristics. If you're just pulling over everybody of a specific race, its racial profiling, its wrong, and you'll get in trouble with the Justice Department (like, say, Villa Rica, Georgia's Police Department

Now I get it. I was taking your argument as racial profiling not occurring in the real world, which I've heard some LEOs argue (i.e. "we would never do that.")

Biker
July 6, 2005, 04:41 PM
CombatArms

Sorry. Scoots are Harleys and cages are cars. Pretty friendly place here....sometimes I feel like I'm addressing my Bros, albeit with 'slightly' cleaned up language.
Biker :)

lawandorder
July 6, 2005, 08:48 PM
Sure would like to see a breakdown of percentages of crimes by race or ethnic group.Any one have that?

Marshall
July 6, 2005, 10:00 PM
Sure would like to see a breakdown of percentages of crimes by race or ethnic group.Any one have that?

This is the best I can find so far for the closest city to me.

Top 3 races only.

Tulsa, OK. Population by race:

White......75%
Black.......10.9%
Hispanic...4.5%


Tulsa, OK. Violent crime by race:

White......51.5%
Black.......36.9%
Hispanic...6.0%


Source (http://www.csctulsa.org/data.htm)

Mad Man
July 6, 2005, 11:30 PM
[deleted]

Mad Man
July 6, 2005, 11:46 PM
[deleted]

Brasso
July 6, 2005, 11:54 PM
I once arrested a DUI. The car made a wide turn and was weaving. When I got to court, the driver, a black man, said that I racially profiled him because his car looked like the type a young black male who sold drugs would drive. You know the type. Early Buick with rims that cost more than the car, jacked up in the back with tinted windows. I was astounded. He actually admited that he was driving a car because it made him look like something he wasn't, and then had the nerve to say I racially profiled him. Not that I ever stopped a car because of what it looked like, but to hear him admit he was purposely trying to portray a less than "civic" image and then complaining about a supposed impression that he meant to make almost made me laugh.

trooper
July 7, 2005, 01:49 AM
He actually admited that he was driving a car because it made him look like something he wasn't, and then had the nerve to say I racially profiled him.

Yeah, I get similar comments from some of our "customers" every now and then. If they think you don't listen to them it's all "German idiots" and "potato eaters" (I swear I didn't make that one up :)) and as soon as you catch them redhanded the whole "You racist cop only stopped me because I'm a foreigner" thing starts. Funny thing is that most of them have lived in Germany all their lives and some of them actually are German citizens...


Regards,

Trooper

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