February 7, 2012
The term racial profiling is defined as “a form of discrimination by which law enforcement uses a person’s race or cultural background as the primary reason to suspect that the individual has broken the law” (About.com). This means that a citizen’s right to the fourth amendment is ignored because we are entitled to protection from unreasonable seizure. The creator of the Youtube video, who goes by the name of “nycresistance”, set out to show how common racial profiling is in New York. A staggering statistic was released in 2010, showing that out of approximately 600,000 stops by police officers in New York City, almost 84 percent were latino or black. Police were almost more likely to use force when stopping a latino or black rather than a white individual (New York Times, Why Is The N.Y.P.D After Me?). I myself, although I am not of latino decent, have had problems with police officers here in Los Angeles because I look hispanic. On more than one occasion, I have made eye contact with an officer going the opposite direction while driving only to have him make a U-turn and follow me. It’s a bitch, I’ll admit but I find most of it to be rather hypocritical actually. These bloggers and people crying “racist profiling” need to realize that they in turn, are profiling cops as racists.
Although the statistics given are not exactly pleasing, it only states that there were approximately 600,000 stops, not how any of them resulted. Who knows, maybe a majority of them actually gave a reason to be pulled over or be arrested. The media is largely to blame for this hypocrisy. For example, take a look at police officers in movies, particularly movies aimed at my generation. How often are cops portrayed as a good person? I am so sick and tired of hearing ignorant teenagers and young adults yelling “fuck the police” or “fucking pigs” when I can guarantee almost half, if not more of them have never even had an encounter with the police. Anytime I have ever had an encounter with officers, as long as I was respectful and did not resist, I was in turn treated with respect. Even when in handcuffs, the officers asked me if I would like them loosened or wanted to take a seat. By the way, I was being put in handcuffs after being surrounded by two police helicopters with snipers hanging out the side doors and around six squad cars due to a call from neighbors about our airsoft fight. They had thought it was a gang war. Seven out of the eight people I was with were Hispanic and none, I repeat, none were treated unfairly in their opinion. We all acted calm, did as we were told, and everything ended up ok. It unfortunately happened again next week but again nothing severe happened. Those fools forget that without the police, many of them wouldn’t even be around. Our lands would be filled with chaos without the help of L.A.P.D. or N.Y.P.D. Racial profiling is simply just a trade-off. I believe to an extent, depending on the rates of crime and the area, racial profiling is almost necessary. Some regions do in fact have higher rates of crime for a particular race so why shouldn’t a cop keep that in mind?
As for nycresistance, yes his video is important and yes our law enforcement may need to make a few changes but it is wrong of him to make such a negative statement about the whole of N.Y.P.D. , saying police treat all black people and latinos the same. He’s treating all cops the same.