Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Police And Prejudice - Part 2

I heard a talk recently where a fashion model (of all people) was saying that in the US if you are young, male either African American or Hispanic, you are more likely to be approached by the police and questioned. She asserted that it was a race issue. It could have been sexist, because women are less likely to be stopped. How about age prejudice against the young? If it was a race thing, then why are young Asian males not as likely to have this problem?

He looks sloppy and shady
I remember walking along a road dressed in business shirt, tie and trousers. Three young people were also taking the same route but looking unkempt. It was quite a nice suburb so I fitted in and they didn't. A police car drove past me and stopped by them.

As I got near I could hear the police asking them questions about where they were staying and what were they doing. They were responding with annoyance that it was harassment and the police had no right to stop if they weren't doing something wrong. The police persisted and as I walked on, the standoff continued.

If police see people they believe are a higher risk to be involved in crime, they will more likely approach them. It could be the clothes, car make and condition, or even an ethnic group known to be more likely to be involved with illegal activities. These youths I passed were of the same race as the officers, so stopping to talk to them must have been their dress.

Insurance companies charge differing rates according to the statistical averages of how likely the client will be to claim. At airports, certain people are more likely to have to have their bags searched depending in their nationality, age etc. That is the way it is. Police are out to apprehend criminal offenders and they get better results by tailoring their efforts. It is frustrating to be an honest citizen, yet be stopped because of your profile or dress. Playing the race card however, is simplistic and in most cases plain wrong. They are out to catch criminals. The fashion model should stick to the catwalk.

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