Georgia Democrats again attempt to paint law enforcement with the broad brush of racism

Last year around this time, Democrat State Representative Tyrone Brooks (along with Democrat State Representatives Pedro Marin, Keith Heard, Roberta Abdul-Salaam, Gloria Frazier and Alpaperwork oversightWilliams proposed HB 53, an alleged effort to, as Brooks termed it, stop law enforcement from “racial profiling.” If Brooks was being truthful, he should have stated his real goal: to handicap law enforcement in the performance of their duties.

Now, Democrat State Senator Gloria Butler, joined by fellow Democrat State Senators Emanuel Jones, Freddie Sims, Horacena Tate, Valenciapaperwork oversightSeay and NanI’m with Jane FondaOrrock, are trying again with their efforts to hurt law enforcement in Georgia over in the Senate with SB 325.

Let’s again review why both of these bills are horrific, shall we?

HB 53, as I’ve covered previously, states that “[l]aw enforcement officers shall not use a person’s race or ethnicity to form probable cause or reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle but may use a person’s race or ethnicity to confirm a previously obtained description of a suspect.”

Deeper into HB 53, though, Brooks’ real goals become evident. Per his legislation, every time a vehicle is stopped:

to issue a citation or to make an arrest, that officer shall document the following information in a public record whose format shall be determined by the Department of Motor Vehicle Safety: (A) The gender of the driver; (B) The race or ethnicity of the driver; (C) The suspected violation that led to the stop; (D) Whether the vehicle, personal effects, driver, or any passenger was searched and, if any passenger or his or her effects were searched, the passenger’s gender and the passenger’s race or ethnicity; (E) Whether a search was conducted pursuant to consent, probable cause, or reasonable suspicion to suspect a crime, including the approximate duration of the search and the basis for the request for consent or the circumstances establishing probable cause or reasonable suspicion; (F) Whether contraband was found, the type and approximate amount of contraband, and whether contraband was seized; (G) Whether any arrest, citation, or any oral or written warning was issued as a result of the stop; (H) Whether the officer making the stop encountered any physical resistance, whether the officer engaged in the use of force, and whether injuries resulted; (I) Whether the circumstances surrounding the stop were the subject of any investigation and the results of that investigation; and (J) The location of the stop.

If a stop is made and the officer does not issue a citation, “then the officer shall provide the motorist with a card showing the officer’s name, badge number, and the name of the officer’s law enforcement agency. Law enforcement agencies shall maintain the data required to be collected of this subsection for not less than seven years.”

With SB 325, the list of requirements to be noted grows even longer, to include:

(1) The identification of the law enforcement officer, including name and identification or badge number; (2) The agency employing the law enforcement officer; (3) The age, gender, race, and ethnicity of the individual subjected to the stop, based on the observation or perception of the law enforcement officer; (4) The date, time, duration, and location of the stop; (5) Whether the law enforcement officer requested information about the person’s immigration status or country of origin; (6) Whether the law enforcement officer examined a state-issued identification card issued to the person, including the person’s date of birth, state, and country of residence, if available; (7) In the case of a traffic stop, the license plate number and state of registration of the vehicle stopped, and the description of the vehicle, including make, model, condition, and color; (8) The alleged violation that led to the stop; (9) In the case of a traffic stop, whether the law enforcement officer requested the person to exit the vehicle; (10) Whether a search was conducted as a result of the stop; (11) Whether the search was conducted pursuant to consent, probable cause, or reasonable suspicion to suspect a crime, including the basis for the request for consent or the circumstances establishing probable cause or reasonable suspicion; (12) In cases of consent searches, whether consent was given in writing by the individual; (13) Whether passengers were present and, if so, the passengers’ age, gender, race, and ethnicity, based on the observation or perception of the law enforcement officer; (14) Whether any person’s, including the passengers’, property or personal effects were searched (vehicle or other), and the scope of the search; (15) Whether contraband was found, the type and approximate amount of contraband, and whether contraband was seized; (16) Whether any citation or any oral or written warning was issued as a result of the stop; (17) If a warning or citation was issued, the violation charged or warning provided; (18) Whether an arrest was made as a result of either the stop or the search; (19) If an arrest was made, the crime charged; (20) Whether the law enforcement officer making the stop encountered any physical resistance, whether the officer engaged in the use of force, and whether injuries resulted; and (21) Whether the circumstances surrounding the stop were the subject of any investigation and the results of that investigation. The information gathered pursuant to this subsection shall be collected and reported on an annual basis to the Attorney General using a format determined by the Attorney General.

(g) In addition to the information collected under subsection (f) of this Code section, each law enforcement agency shall send to the Attorney General on a monthly basis: (1) All of the forms collected that month regarding motorists or pedestrians who were stopped; (2) Any complaints filed by motorists or pedestrians who believed they were the subject of racial profiling; and (3) Any other information the Attorney General deems appropriate.

Finally, SB 325 requires that the Attorney General of Georgia publish an annual report chock-full of statistics:

The report shall include at least the following information for each law enforcement agency: (1) The total number of vehicles and pedestrians stopped by law enforcement officers during the previous calendar year; (2) The number and percentage of stopped motor vehicles that were driven by members of each particular minority group; (3) A comparison of the percentage of stopped motor vehicles driven by each minority group and the percentage of the state’s population, driving age population, and owners of motor vehicles that each minority group comprises; and (4) A compilation of the information reported by law enforcement agencies pursuant to this Code section.

All this work to prepare this proposed legislation from our fine Democrat legislators would suggest there is rampant racial profiling going on in every corner of Georgia and that people are being pulled over right and left for no darn good reason.

Except nothing could be farther from the truth.

When news of the Senate Bill filing broke earlier last week, (here, here, here and here among many sources) we were treated to some just horrific stories:

A few months ago, Mark Bell left his Cobb County home after 10 p.m. to go to the grocery store. The political consultant said a police car pulled in behind him. Then pulled up to his right. Then backed up and looked at his license plate. Then followed him to the store. The officer never stopped him, never said a word, but the message was clear.

“It was racial profiling,” Bell said. “Here in 2010, that is unacceptable in Georgia. A black man can’t leave his house after 10 p.m. without being profiled. You become fearful. It is mentally nerve-racking.”

What was nerve-racking? That a police officer ran his plates to see if there were any outstanding warrants? I’ve got a news flash for Mark Bell: get over yourself. Police officers are always running plates for warrants or expired licenses. They do it for all races. Also, Bell points out that the officer never stopped him…but still accuses him of racial profiling (we don’t know what race the officer is, by the way, because it was 10 p.m. and dark outside). So, by not having any warrants on him and having a valid driver’s license and license plate (and thus not being pulled over), Bell is the victim of racial profiling how exactly?

Let’s sample some more lunacy:

“We know that if your skin color is darker than mine or your religion is not Christian, you are likely to be racial profiled,” said the Rev. Tracy Blagec, the vice president of Atlantans Building Leadership of Empowerment (ABLE), which has joined lawmakers, along with the ACLU, to get the measure passed. “People like me don’t get pulled over.”

Super, except there is no way to determine religion from a manner of driving. Blagec sets up a the straw man of racist, bigoted cops patrolling the streets but provides only anecdotal beliefs, not facts.

Sen. Donzella James (D-College Park) said her son was stopped and questioned about why he was driving a nice car and dressed up. Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), who is white, recalled stories of how her son would get stopped when he was riding in cars with young black men.

Stephanie Stuckey Benfield (D-Atlanta) said she didn’t have a personal story to tell.

“But that may be because I look the way I look,” said Benfield, who is white.

Frankly, I strongly doubt James’ recollection of facts that the pullover was conducted simply because he was driving a nice car. And with regards to Nan Orrock, her son Danny Orrock (Website | MySpace | Facebook), the Deputy Director over at Georgia Watch, is hardly a credible source to analyze the actions of law enforcement officers since he shares his mother’s anti-freedom, anti-capitalism beliefs.

And with Stephanie Stuckey Benfield…whatever. The woman is afraid of her own shadow so I’m pretty sure she makes efforts to be home before sunset every night.

So, why is this legislation unnecessary and harmful to law enforcement? Three reasons.

First, law enforcement is already prohibited from pulling over someone unless they have reasonable, articulable suspicion to do so. As I’ve noted before, State of Georgia v. Armstrong, 223 Ga. App. 350, 351; 477 S.E.2d 635, 637 (1996) already lays out what is required for a reasonable, articulable suspicion for a traffic stop. What the Court of Appeals requires, at a bare minimum, is “objective observations, information from police reports, the modes or patterns of certain kinds of lawbreakers, and the inferences drawn and dedications made by a trained law enforcement officer.” Some examples of this can be found in any violation of O.C.G.A. Title 40, Chapter 6, where a variety of traffic violations are listed.

Thus, you can’t just see someone of a specific race and religion and pull them over. There must be some legal indicator of a violation of the law first. And don’t think that looking “odd” is sufficient (i.e., someone wearing a turban).

State v. Winnie, 242 Ga. App. 228, 529 S.E.2d 215 (2000) makes clear that the mere fact that an officer thinks that a driver’s behavior is unusual will not establish a justification for a stop if the driver commits no traffic violation, is conducting no apparent criminal activity and is making no attempt to flee.

So, simply being a member of an ethnic community is insufficient for a stop by an officer and such a case would be thrown out of court if it even made it that far (which, in the real world, we know wouldn’t).

Second, it places an unreasonable burden and expense on every law enforcement agency in Georgia. Both bills require that local law enforcement agencies collect and maintain this exhaustive list of “data” for each citation issued. In metro counties, you are talking about tens of thousands of citations. And just who is going to enter this data? How will the database be paid for?

This is not as simple as just punching a button on a machine and a magical genie gets is all done. Larger counties (all counties, actually) are going to have to develop a system to include new software to collect and refine this data and then have it entered, monitored and maintained by a goodly number of people. That costs money, which, in a big surprise to these Democrats (alleged friends to the taxpayer) might be startled to learn local governments would prefer to use for more police officers instead of back room techs.

Third, this legislation will have a chilling effect on law enforcement officers in Georgia. As I wrote a year ago, this database will be able to be utilized by the Attorney General to pull up, for each officer, the percentages of his traffic stops based upon race (as if that is the only criteria that law enforcement utilizes in its efforts to keep the community safe).

Thus, a white officer working in South DeKalb County is (gasp) going to appear quite racist to these Democrats when his records are run because 90% of those he stops are black! Of course, the black officer in Paulding County who stops whites 90% of the time won’t be racist, mind you. Nor the Asian officer in Rabun County who pulls over 80% whites.

Or would they?

Consider a white officer in Fulton County who sees a car driven by someone with a tail light out. Just as he is about to pull over the vehicle, he notices that the driver is black. He then recalls seeing a recent print out from the Attorney General’s office concerning his department noting that he pulls over blacks 13.7% more than the other officers on his shift. Thus, not wanting to earn the wrath of Democrats in the General Assembly, he doesn’t pull the vehicle over. Maybe if he had, he would have just given a citation for a bad tail light. Or maybe he would have discovered some more serious crime being perpetuated. The officer will never know because he turned around.

Likewise, consider a black officer in Duluth who sees a vehicle driving at 3 a.m. down a two lane road when he decides to run the plates of said vehicle but then notices that the driver and passenger are Asian. Recalling a warning from his shift supervisor to keep his numbers in line with the department because he pulled over more Asians than any other officer in the last six months, he decides to avoid an Attorney General investigation and doesn’t perform his routine check of the plates. Thus, the car rolls on and (perhaps) the driver soon after commits some sort of malfeasance.

Yes, are these hypothetical examples of a potential outcome? Absolutely. And their validity is just as real as the alleged stores from Nan Orrock’s son and others about so-called racial profiling.

Georgia’s law enforcement officers have enough to do keeping us safe without worrying about what percentages of certain ethnic groups they are pulling over for violations of the law. Their supervisors have enough to do without having another time-consuming task like database management to worry about. The Attorney General has plenty on his plate without having to troll through statistics looking for racism where none exists.

I grant that the chances for both pieces of legislation are virtually nil. But the fact that a goodly number of Democrats in the General Assembly feel this way is cause for concern and examination of their true motives.

61 comments

  1. Mozart says:

    Democrats paint a broad brush on racism, and Karen Handel paints a broad brush on sexism in the General Assembly. Monkey see, monkey do.

    Except, from what I understand, that little vocalization from Handel several weeks ago has cost her significant support and money. The broad brush from the Dems will likely help their campaign coffers.

    Moral of the Story: Not all monkeys reap the rewards of painting broad brushes.

    • Goldwater Conservative says:

      Let me ask you about how this will help campaign coffers for democrats:

      How much money do poor black people have to contribute?

      This has nothing to do with campaign funds.

      • Ken in Eastman says:

        How much money do poor black people have to contribute?

        Why do you think all black people are poor? If you were Pete, there are people on here who would call you a racist for such an assumption.

        • benevolus says:

          That’s actually interesting. I would imagine that cops ARE pretty careful when they pull over someone who looks wealthy because they know if they make a misstep, that person may have the wherewithal to cause them a lot of trouble. Poor people however, just have to take it. So yeah, this legislation probably is likely to help poor people more than others.

  2. ByteMe says:

    I grant that the chances for both pieces of legislation are virtually nil. But the fact that a goodly number of Democrats in the General Assembly feel this way is cause for concern and examination of their true motives.

    Hmm… Pete’s trying to inoculate himself from being called a racist again by projecting his fears on others. Must be Monday!

  3. Kellie says:

    As far as sex, age and race goes, isn’t all of that already on the person’s license? which will all be copied onto a ticket.

    Maybe the sex, age and race of the officer should be on there too. 😉

    • polisavvy says:

      I only have these questions, if the bill does pass, how long will this process take if the officer needs to write a dissertation (complete a lot of paperwork) before he leaves the scene of the stop/accident/whatever? Has anyone thought as to rather or not it could take so much time that perhaps the officer would be unable to get to the next call in a timely manner? I know that if I really needed a police officer, I’d rather he be on his way to my home than filling out paperwork on the side of the road. Just wondering if anyone has thought about this.

  4. benevolus says:

    That is one of the worst posts I’ve ever seen here. I move that Mr. Randall have his front page privileges revoked.

    Brooks’ GOAL is to handicap police officers? It’s patently absurd, vile, evil, and would be worthless except some idiots living in Dade County are going to believe it.

    Despicable. You sir, suck.

    • GOPGeorgia says:

      Why are you singeing out my friends in Dade County? Surely there is at least one idiot in every county, unless some of these legislators are traveling today. Their goal is to inject race into law enforcement. If any one felt like they were pulled over on the basis of race, they could take that up with the judge, unless they want claim he is racist as well. That includes Mark Bell, who apparently has lawenforcementphobia.

          • ByteMe says:

            I’m more afraid of the ones who are come around my neighborhood on a sweltering hot day wearing a black wool suit. WTF is wrong with them??

          • GOPGeorgia says:

            If a kid is walking around in my neighborhood with gang colors on, the police should observe if they aren’t busy. They should watch and let the kid see them watching, (if the kid looks out of place.) He just may like the colors red or blue and until he does something, he shouldn’t be harassed. He could live in the neighborhood.

            If a guy is walking around in a black wool suit, I’m locking the door and pretending I’m not home.

        • Ken in Eastman says:

          The problem is the assumption, built into this legislation, that race is the predominant factor. It assumes “guilt” on the part of the law enforcement official. That assumption of wrong-doing rankles me as much as any assumption of “guilt” by a law enforcement office aimed at any individual. regardless of race.

          • benevolus says:

            Total bullcrap. It’s just data collection.
            You act like “if we don’t pay attention to it then it doesn’t exist”.

          • Ken in Eastman says:

            benevolus,

            If it’s just data collection then it won’t do any good anyway.

            You act like “if we don’t pay attention to it then it doesn’t exist”. That makes even less sense than normal. Define “it” please.

        • GOPGeorgia says:

          I have found where Powell and C. Rice have talked about DWB, but I didn’t find the actual incident where Powel was a victim of it.

          I think a better example would have been the “beer summit” featuring black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., and white Cambridge, Mass., police Sgt. James Crowley. Let’s not forget President Obama, who declared on national TV that the police had “acted stupidly,” without knowing all the facts.

          As I remember it, Gates had a bit of an attitude, saying that Crawley entered his home as a white police officer. How else was he supposed to enter? As an Asian police officer?

          Crawley may have over-reacted. I don’t know. I wasn’t there. However, when a police office is investigating a suspected break in, the non-police officer should follow his instructions until he had properly assessed the situation. If he were dealing with an intruder instead of a homeowner, he has to take into account the intruder might lie to him. An intruder might be armed and capable of harming an officer in an attempt to flee.

          I back following the officers orders as long as they are reasonable. I wouldn’t let an office search my trunk without a warrant. If he did, he wouldn’t find anything (in my case) and I would start filing some type of complaint.

          Back to this proposed law. I don’t know how much time it would take to fill out the extra information and send it in on a different form for every stop made. Perhaps an hour a day? That is time away from being a visual deterrent towards crime and speeders, and time away from responding to calls. It’s extra paperwork that might show a trend in a rural area, but it still can’t prove bias. It’s a bad idea that won’t prove anything, will take officers time away from the rest of their job, and have them do more paperwork.

      • georgiahack says:

        Ok, say you were truly stopped by some racist police officer for “driving while black.” You want to take the cop to court for stopping you for no other reason than he did not like your skin color. How do you prove it? Well, after this law is passed you would have a way. You could go back and look at statistically who that police officer has pulled over and for what reasons. Potentially building a case using their record, or exonerate the police officer, based on their past performance. Right now, you can’t do that. It is your word against the police officers. This protects both you and the cop.

        Pete pretends that there is no problem with racial profiling. Well, until we pass a law like this, then we will never know. I guess it is easier to be ignorant.

        • Kellie says:

          If an officer works in south Dekalb chances are most of the people he pulls over will be black so what does that prove? Infact there is a good chance the officer is black too.
          There are areas that are predominately one race so that race will be pulled over more than another, that does not mean the officer is singling them out.

          • georgiahack says:

            Exactly. There would be statistics behind the officer to show that this was not a racially motivated stop.

          • Rick Day says:

            If an officer works in south Dekalb chances are most of the people he pulls over will be black so what does that prove?

            It proves that there is data that recognizes a reasonable correlation between racial residential makeup, and the racial diversity of traffic stops within the neighborhood.

            This is not so much about ‘black profiling’ as it is about disproportionate stop to residential ratios, as differentiated by the statistic of ‘race’. A baseline ratio of race by stop vs race by neighborhood can be established.

            What you WILL find, are the areas where the ratio is massively off the base line. My dollar is on most rural areas, and, based on stories told to me by folks of other than white skin, Cobb County. This is the only way you will find these pockets of WASTEFUL law enforcement time.

        • Ken in Eastman says:

          . . . until we pass a law like this, then we will never know. I guess it is easier to be ignorant.

          We still won’t know. Statistics do not prove motivation. This law seeks to determine how law enforcement folks perceive the world by looking at statistical probabilities – and does so through a lens that presupposes racism. Good luck with arriving at the truth when the law itself begins with its own prejudices.

          • georgiahack says:

            Statistics do not prove motivation, but they can show trends and bias.

            Right now we don’t know if there is a problem. We have tons of anecdotal evidence, but no real idea if it is a big issue or not.

          • Ken in Eastman says:

            georgiahack,
            Statistics do not prove motivation, but they can show trends and bias.

            They can show trends but do not necessarily show bias and that’s the problem.

          • Ken in Eastman says:

            benevolus,

            Since we can’t do it perfectly we shouldn’t even try to do it at all.

            No, it means first we should do no harm – or at least nothing stupid.

          • benevolus says:

            And in your case, apparently the only way to do nothing stupid is to do nothing.
            The law presupposes racism? OK, logic test. Assumption: We don’t like racism (fair?). We know racism exists. Do we know racism does not exist in the police department? How would we tell one way or another?

          • Ken in Eastman says:

            benevolus,

            Officers do make life or death decisions. Sometimes they make mistakes and those mistakes result in people dying. They don’t need to worry that they will have to defend themselves if their number of stops is outside the 80/20 rule because that will trigger an internal investigation.

            Should law enforcement have oversight? Absolutely! Should statistics trigger a scenario of prima facie guilt? Absolutely not!

            And don’t throw out the tired old argument that “if they’re innocent then they have nothing to worry about”. That doesn’t work.

    • chefdavid says:

      Frankly, sir I am offended. I know there were some problems in the past, but I can tell you as one moving up here from Tampa, it was way more racist than Dade County. I think if you were to sit down with most Dade Countians you would find we are for small government interaction, are most explicitly against racism, and don’t expect much from Milledgeville, oh I mean Atlanta because we normally get our support from Chattanooga. But wait there might be a small chance of hope that we will save you from your wars with TVA sending an extra 40 bbbbbbillion gallons a day down the Tennessee River. And yes that was with a B. So next time you are speeding down I-59 to go to Taledaga, don’t say Dade County is Racist because you were pulled over. Just thank the lord you didn’t get a super speeder ticket. So come on down and if you don’t like it, all I can say is I-59 North B*TCH. Emphasis mine.

      • chefdavid says:

        BTW I am for the idea of this legislation. I haven’t read the bill yet. Funny thing is, I have been complaining for years that I believe that all theese cars towing other cars with no tags are part of the drug trafficing or money laudering operation. I have yet to seen one pulled over. I guess if our officers were so racist they would have them pulled over all of the time. Unfortunately, they are to busy dealing with accidents, or actually out in the neighborhoods off of the interstates trying to make as our sheriff say’s “together we can make a difference.”

  5. Jane says:

    It is going to be real heard to turn out the black vote this November in Georgia. Obviously this will not help the Democrats win Suburban votes, but it rather a weak attempt to preserve black votes in Urban areas.

  6. John Konop says:

    The sad part is the biggest victims of gangs…..are the minority communities. I realize that it is fine line between civil liberties and keeping your community safe to raise a family. And being a police officer is a tough thankless job especially in high crime areas. I would hope the leaders would embrace the police department instead of alienate them. I realize it makes great politics, but the real victims will be their constituents.

    • polisavvy says:

      Excellent post and so very true. I just had the child of a very good friend of mine shot while in the process of arresting a gang member in the poorest area of our county. He did survive; however, he will no longer be able to be in the line of work he was once in and loved so much — now, at 25, he will have a desk job. He certainly didn’t become a police officer for the pay and the respect. He did it because he wanted to make a difference. People seem to lose sight of that.

        • John Konop says:

          Rick Day,

          Do you think a kid looking like a gang member getting pulled over is racial profiling?

          Do you think a white kid driving around in a nice car in a tough minority neighborhood known for drug problems getting pulled over is racial profiling?

        • polisavvy says:

          Sorry you found my post illogical. I was simple responding to John Konop’s post that basically the cops aren’t in that line of work for the money OR the respect. They are in it because that’s what they want to do — to make a difference.

  7. Harry says:

    Once again, Georgia Democrats in an effort to appeal to their base, have no understanding of the overall political calculus. Once again they will fail.

  8. Melb says:

    Many republicans voted for a similar bill in 2004 – HB 1327 and in 2005 Senator Hamrick pushed a racial profiling bill that was much tougher on law enforcement. So this is not just a democrat issue.

    Most of the information is already being collected, and after speaking with some counties – they even gather the race too – used for their own internal watch over the issues. This information in most counties is already put into a computer and a copy scanned and filed online. This bill will call on the AG to produce a report which they have done in NC, MO, and TX, and since most information is already electronically filed it would not be a major cost.

  9. NUMBER ONE: The case cites provided by Pete aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. In the real world, “reasonable articulable suspicion” isn’t a threshold… it’s a magic buzzword that an officer simply has to recite in court. When defense counsel asks why he pulled a defendant over, the cop simply replies, “Based on my reasonable articulable suspicion”… and the court is usually fine with that.

    When defense counsel presses the officer to actually *articulate* this “articulable” suspicion… standard responses are either that the defendant avoided eye contact, or was perspiring (in Georgia in the summer!). Cops have a bundle of responses that always work, and can’t really be challenged. Just as an officer can always find reason to pull your car over, he can always make out reasonable articulable suspicion as well. It’s a sad joke.

    NUMBER TWO: Pete exaggerates these bills to point of being almost hysterical. In the case of *arrests*, virtually all of this information gets recorded already. We’re really only talking about traffic citations here, and the information at issue would basically be a row of checkboxes across the bottom of the ticket form… that form already being filled out by the officer, and already being keyed into a computer system back at the station. As for cops having to hand over a business card when they let someone off with a warning, most cops *already* carry those cards (albeit usually without their badge number).

    As for a DeKalb officer appearing more racist than a Paulding officer because DeKalb has more black people… well, you just rebutted your own point. Obviously such statistics are meaningless outside of the context of local demographics. There’s nothing suspicious about an officer having most of his interactions with black people in a black neighborhood, but it IS a bit eyebrow-raising when an officer focuses on blacks in a white neighborhood. The scandal is in the outliers.

    If anybody has black friends they interact with at all outside of work, they’re already well aware of the very different treatment they receive from law enforcement… even when they’re educated and affluent. This reality is an open secret. Pete worries that tracking such statistics would have a “chilling effect” on officers, but this is an area where they *should* chill out.

    FOOTNOTE: Unlike Pete, I actually DO know Danny Orrock through school (i.e. the guy that Pete smeared in order to spite his mom). The notion of that guy being “communist” is so f—ing retarded that it’s a new low even by Pete standards. I’m not sure what posting links to all his social networking accounts is about, other than a flimsy attempt to prop up a “gotcha” which isn’t really there. Pete, with all due respect, sometimes you can come across as a real lowlife Internet troll… and it hurts your credibility even on those rare occasions when you have a point.

  10. Bucky Plyler says:

    Any legislation like this needs to be attacked, questioned, editorialized, etc. Mark Twain had a great quote about statistics.
    ” There are lies, damnable lies, & then there’s statistics.”

    If one is allowed by law to set the parameters to prove the “Desired” statistics, then you can “prove” & enforce anything you want.

    This bill needs to die.

    • benevolus says:

      As the Pinhead pointed out, it’s already against the law, so this isn’t “setting the law”. It’s just data collection.
      The current law is essentially unenforceable. But you would like that, wouldn’t you?

      • Bucky Plyler says:

        Bene,

        Not “setting the law”…my problem is skewing the “data” so that you can get the desired outcome that these legisltors intend. I don’t agree with that at all.

        • benevolus says:

          Yeah, so let’s not collect any data? Surely you can come up with an improvement to address your concerns rather than just want to kill it? Or is that too complicated for your worldview?

  11. UGAalum says:

    Am I the only one who still finds one very important FACT missing from these arguments?

    Of course blacks will be pulled over the majority of the time in South Dekalb and other predominantly black areas, which as asserted many times above, means nothing. BUT, what further means nothing is if blacks are pulled over more often in other areas as well. With 1/4 of all black males incarcerated (on probation or on parole) how can you argue with the fact that blacks, as a ratio of the populace, commit more crime(s)?

    Unless, of course, you subscribe to the notion that it is due in fact to the racist white cops arresting them more frequently (via purported racial profiling). Which I don’t. And I have as much empirical evidence to prove my point as any debater above.

    • ByteMe says:

      Think about why crack — the drug of choice for poor black folks — has a longer prison sentence than cocaine, the drug of choice for rich white people.

    • benevolus says:

      It’s really more about an individual officer at a precinct writing predominantly more tickets to a group than his colleagues. He/she would need to be able to justify that, and this documentation would help them do so.

  12. Melb says:

    Anyone who commits a crime and police are responding to that crime based on a description of a person is not racial profiling. The misinformation on racial profiling on almost every single thread about racial profiling is a very good example of why police officers may need training on what is and is not racial profiling.

  13. Jane says:

    The end result of an attack on police policies like this will result in a greater reluctance of the police to enter parts of a city where their motives will be questioned. Eventually, parts of the big city with be without police protection when urban American needs it the most.

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