Thursday, July 23, 2009

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Racial Profiling in Reverse

Racial profiling, targeting someone purely because of race, is wrong. Profiling based on behavior is not wrong. If I, a white woman, walk down an alley and at the end, blocking my way out are ten black men, I may either panic or smile with relief. I will panic if I see ten black men dressed in thug clothes, cussing and talking about bitches. If I see ten black men dressed in suits with copies of The Watchtower in their hands, I am going to happily walk right up to them. The same would hold true for ten white men at the end of the block.

Henry Gates and President Obama are guilty of racial profiling. From what I can see of the officer who arrested Gates, Officer Crowley, is not. Officer Crowley acted professionally as a peace officer and did his job. Gates and Obama simply assumed that the only reason for the arrest was that Crowley just assumed this man, because he is black, was doing something illegal.

First of all, Crowley didn't do anything at all that resembled racial profiling. He already knew that Gates was the homeowner when he arrested him. He wasn't jumping to any conclusion that a black man was up to no good. Gates, a black man, WAS up to no good. He was disorderly and out of control.

If an officer arrests a black man for selling drugs, is that racial profiling? If an officer arrests a black man for stabbing his wife, is that racial profiling? If this is the case, I guess no one of color should be arrested for committing crimes. I am sure the black community will love to have these criminals remaining at large for them to contend with.

I, myself, have been accused of racism and racial profiling in spite of the fact my ex-husband of twenty-five years is black, I have one black son and two biracial children. Oddly, in all the years I have known my ex and my kids, none of them have experienced "driving while black" or any other version of racial profiling. Could this be because their behavior didn't raise suspicions in the minds of the cops? Could it be they know how to speak in a respectful manner to the police and understand, the few times they have encountered a situation with the police, that the police were just doing their job? For that matter, my sons have told me that the few times they were stopped for speeding and such, the officers let them off and they didn't even get a ticket.

I have done ride-alongs with my police officer daughter and I can tell you people who act badly often accuse the police of racial profiling or harassment or brutality and it doesn't matter who is what race. Going on the attack is their way of shifting the blame for their actions.

Gates is doing that exact thing. He acted like an idiot. He was rude and obnoxious and, in my opinion, racist. Obama is backing his friend's poor behavior and accusing the officer of something he has no idea has any merit. Both want Crowley to apologize for his actions and he refuses to do it. Good for him. Crowley, who once gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to Celtics star Reggie Lewis, a black man, says he didn't racial profile and he is not a racist. I believe him.

Does racial profiling exist? I am sure on occasion it does. But, I believe a good portion these days is in the mind of the offender. If it does, why did my family never encounter racial profiling.

Maybe we just knew how to behave.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown


Anonymous said...

Yet two days after the arrest a photo of the police officer getting in his SUV shows his license plate, which reads Whitey. So I guess you are correct there is nothing to the racial profiling the officer is accused of.

Most people however believe that if he had been white the officer would have listened to the home owner when he said he was the homeowner locked out of his house. Instead he was arrested by an officer with a license plate "whitey".

Great job.

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