Friday, April 25, 2014

Profiling: Good or Bad

Sean, Jerry and I have been disagreeing regarding how prevalent racism is in MN.   G2A MN Fed Tax Games

Then I found this interesting document.  MN2020 Pot Paper  It raises some questions worth discussing.  It says that black men are busted for POT in MN more often than they should be based on normal factors.  It pretty much states that police engage in racial profiling and that it is systemic.

I have found the concept of profiling fascinating ever since my 70 year old mother had her cuticle scissors removed at the airport a few years back.  I thought of all those hours and resources that were wasted checking people who almost certainly pose no risk to our safety...
  • What are your thoughts? 
  • Is fair more important than the effective use of our limited resources?
  • Is it fair to search little old ladies in the name of treating everyone equal?
  • Should we add more police in Plymouth and patrol as strenuously as in North Minneapolis in the name of equality?  Even though the crime stats are very different.
  • Should we reduce our vigilance within groups of people that are at higher risk?
Thoughts?

Sam Harris In Defense of Profiling
ACLU Pro Con Racial Profiling
Debate org Pro Con
To Catch a Criminal

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I do know that every time a see a Wall Street banker on TV, I assume he is a crook.

--Hiram

jerrye92002 said...

For many years I refused to fly because of the stupid TSA procedure. It would have been different, perhaps, had I believed that it was making us more safe. But then I remember that the 9/11 hijackers used box cutters, and the TSA somehow translated that into mandatory confiscation of cuticle scissors, darning needles and precision screwdrivers. Then the shoe bomber actually got on the plane and since then the TSA has inspected over 10 BILLION pairs of shoes unnecessarily. Then the shampoo bombers actually got on the plane and since then we have been restricted to 3 ounce bottles of every liquid, regardless of what it is or how long your trip may be. And then the underwear bomber actually got on the plane, and now the TSA is poking around and even peering through our underwear, including infants and grandmothers and finding nothing except what they aren't supposed to find at all. I can only imagine what we will be subjected to after the next terrorist actually gets on a plane. Please, please, can we have a little profiling here?

John said...

Hiram,
How dare you be so prejudiced !!! Just kidding...

I feel somewhat the same way when I see politicians on TV.

All,
It is interesting that we hire relatively intelligent police officers and then insult them for using that intelligence.

Be it waving through my 70 yr old Mother or questioning young men in the street who look they are doing business.

Or pulling over more people in an area where crime is more violent and prevalent. And what should the police do when they find a violation like pot possession during this increased surveillance?

Should they say... "Oh we know they do it in the non-violent high crime areas, so we'll let you go on your with your pot."

Laurie said...

Maybe cops in Mpls and St. Paul should be instructed to issue warnings rather than arrests for small amts of pot when patrolling high crime neighborhoods. Sentencing for nonviolent crimes could be adjusted as well.

As for TSA, I think we all should be subject to whatever security measures they put in place. I would prefer they have fewer and less intrusive security checks, but I can live with it on my ave of 2 flights per year.

John said...

Laurie,
I assume the Police already use their good judgment. What other situations do you want them playing judge/jury?

My point is that the possession of illegal drugs is usually considered a significant issue. Probably a bigger issue than doing 10 mph over in a 55 mph zone.

Are you one of the pro-pot supporters? The only time I inhaled was standing behind some guys at a Kinks concert... The amount of smoke they were putting out covered at least 3 rows in each direction...

jerrye92002 said...

Apparently I wasn't clear about my problem with the TSA. IF they were making us the least bit safer and their ridiculously intrusive and rigid rules were less so, fine, but neither is the case. When you start strip-searching grandmothers and infants and confiscating nail clippers, and then let the bomber on the plane anyway, we would be better off abolishing the whole farce.