Where does proactive policing such as that described earlier “cross the line” and become biased in nature, or racial profiling?

Regarding physical, verbal, and legal abuse of citizens, consider the following: Few if any people believe the police should be stopping, questioning, searching, frisking, or otherwise impeding people of color purely on the basis of race or nationality. But where should the line be drawn between what some might perceive as biased policing on the one hand and solid, proactive police work on the other? Noted columnist Richard Cohen, writing in The Washington Post about controversial—and legal—stop-and-frisk actions by New York City police in 2013, observed that because young minorities are known to commit a disproportionate amount of crimes in NYC, those ought to be the people who are stopped and frisked: “It would be senseless for the cops to be stopping Danish tourists in Times Square just to make the statistics look good.”75 Similarly, Bernard Parks, former chief of Los Angeles Police Department and an African American, said this: “We have an issue of violent crime against jewelry salespeople. The predominant suspects are Colombians. We don’t find MexicanAmericans, or blacks or other immigrants. It’s a collection of several hundred Colombians who commit this crime. If you see six in a car in front of the Jewelry Mart, and they’re waiting and watching people with briefcases, should we play the percentages and follow them? It’s common sense.”76

1. Do you believe such police actions are racist in nature, or do they represent good police work? 2. Where does proactive policing such as that described earlier “cross the line” and become biased in nature, or racial profiling?

 

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