Every year the San Diego Police Department invites the public to experience what police recruits go through in the academy. Video game-like simulators show them what it’s like to weave through traffic with sirens on and talk down a suspect with a knife.
This year the department held one of its open house events in Encanto and for the first time, gave the public a look at how it trains against racial profiling.
The location is significant. It’s one of the city’s most heavily policed neighborhoods and has been at the center of local discussions about race and law enforcement.
Encanto resident Paul Khalid Alexander barely cleared the threshold of the Tubman Chavez Community Center for the event before a uniformed officer greeted him.
Alexander is used to seeing cops, but in a much different context. The City College professor has a storefront on Imperial Avenue, where he works with former inmates and others impacted by the criminal justice system through his nonprofit, Pillars of the Community. A recent spate of shootings has ramped up police presence on the street, and Encanto’s reputation as a gang neighborhood means a lot of red and blue lights to begin with.
The department wanted its officers to get out of their cruisers and have the kind of face-to-face interaction Alexander experienced at the front door. Inside, about a dozen officers buzzed around meeting residents and handing out business cards.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
I suppose that SDSU will be doing a smooth data analysis since the (undisclosed) one, done by SDSU in December 2014 was, I suppose, not smooth.
Ok, but more important than all of this discussion is the unmentioned fact that SDPD instructs its officers that "Racial Profiling" is not Racism.
Every authoritative publication says the opposite, as has the U.S. Supreme Court. Accordingly, I disagree with the writer who holds that it is the public that decides.
If the cops weren't such big a-holes they wouldn't be so hated. My white son was recently investigated because they thought he looked weird. Absolutely no crime was committed and there were no infractions. Basically the cop zeroed in on him because he didn't fit any of his familiar stereotypes. This cop was a real a-hole; very disturbing. I understand why people are concerned.
Since when is “rolling through a stop sign” a pretext to stop someone? Plenty of pedestrians have been injured, and a few even killed, by careless drivers doing this.
@Bill Bradshaw You must not have carefully read the article. They said that they used that as a pretext in a specific neighborhood because they didn't have enough evidence of wrongdoing at a particular house. Therefore they were watching the area hoping that they would catch someone that they could back ground check. If drug operations are suspected, then presumably it would be easy to catch a few careless drivers. Then they could double check the license for warrants, shine flashlights into the cars looking for indications of drug purchases and so forth. I think that you are simply misunderstanding the article. By the way, I've watched 4 way stop intersections. The vast majority of people roll through stop signs regularly, especially at empty intersections.
@shawn fox @Bill Bradshaw Mr. Fox, I read the article carefully enough to see that you had missed my point. Regardless of their frequency, which I agree is quite high, rolling or “California” stops if you prefer are quite dangerous, particularly to pedestrians who might be stepping off the curb only to be whacked by a careless driver. My wife found this out ten years ago when it happened to her, and it took two years, lots of physiotherapy and a knee operation to fully recover. A broken taillight or loose license plate or a hundred other things are minor infractions. Rolling stops aren’t, any more than going 80 in a 65 zone, which happens pretty frequently as well.
Come on. Racial profiling and stereotypes have a real history. If an officer knows that a crime is committed by a majority of one race, what is he supposed to think when it happens again? Perhaps the media should report crimes by race monthly. Let the public decide if profiling is wrong based on those facts.
Based on the pictures above, does anyone really care? Hope they served coffee and donuts to the 5-10 people who showed up. (Probably the press)