Benjamin Kelso thinks parents in minority-dominated areas of San Diego should be aware of the color of clothes their children wear. Their children might draw negative attention from police who think they’re in a gang, he said.
Kelso knows because he’s a police officer. And he knows because in the early 1990s, fellow San Diego police officers pulled him over for wearing blue and driving a blue Cadillac.
Kelso now heads the San Diego Black Police Officers Association and he’s risen to become a detective sergeant in SDPD’s domestic violence unit.
He said police and community race relations have improved since he’s been on the force, but SDPD still has a long way to go. We spoke with Kelso for our investigation into the department’s approach to racial profiling issues.
He talked about how his organization’s appearance at Trayvon Martin marches led some SDPD officers to question his loyalty to the force and how certain police practices have upset minority community members.
Can you talk about how the department has changed since when you were pulled over?
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What about the teenage criminals driving BMWs, Mercedes and Audis in North County. If it's cocaine you're looking for, look no further than these folks. Oh, wait, they have their own lawyers.
Police always look for the "low hanging fruit" to pad their stats.
Until Police management changes the way Officers are evaluated, Officers will follow the path to least resistance in padding their arrest stats. And don't tell me arrest stats aren't one of the man factors in a patrol Officer's annual evaluation.
Thanks for bringing this problem into play... again. SDPD has its history, and anyone living an average, privileged, or impoverished life in this city for more than a decade has had direct experience or knowledge of stops by police for the crime of being black or brown.
We do have a lot of tolerance in San Diego; it's just that some of it is misaimed at police misbehavior