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Looking for trouble

The issue of racial profiling by police has raised its ugly head again in Massachusetts, and the state is wasting no time in expressing its disapproval.

In fact, it's taking actions to cut down the chances of it ever happening.

Currently, Massachusetts police officers... oh, let's just let the Boston Globe's own reporter explain it.

Two hundred forty-seven police departments -- from Boston and Lowell to tiny Spencer and Upton -- have been urged to participate in the program, featuring a more extensive report that officers are being asked to fill out every time they make a stop.

While police were previously required only to record the race and gender of drivers, now officers are being asked to note the duration and reason for the stop, what type of road it happened on, whether the car was searched, and what was found. In addition, instead of recording the data only when they issue warnings or tickets, police are now being asked to provide the information every time they stop a car.

So, let me see if I've got this right. Because SOME police officers have been jerks, ALL police officers are presumed to be jerks unless they file YET MORE paperwork documenting their non-jerkness?

Here's a little something I learned long ago, but apparently the Boston Globe never did: statistics are useless without a large sampling pool, and none of these towns have a usable sampling pool. And by comparing the towns on a statewide basis, you don't get one big pool, but a whole bunch of little pools. They do not "balance each other out."

But it's so much easier to toss more paperwork and red tape at the problem, and make the police officers prove themselves innocent.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Looking for trouble:

» Danny Carlton (aka Jack Lewis) linked with Around the Blogosphere

Comments (3)

And you know how they prove... (Below threshold)
Murel Bailey:

And you know how they prove they aren't racially profiling? By racial profiling. When their numbers look bad, they just go and stop people based on race until the ratios look like America again. So the attempt to stop racial profiling guarantees racial profiling.

And let's not forget that t... (Below threshold)

And let's not forget that those who yell the loudest about racial profiling & police brutality are usually the same people who tell us that only police should be allowed to have guns.

Likely the cops will simply... (Below threshold)

Likely the cops will simply make fewer stops to reduce the paperwork. Think about that when you're hit by a drunk that didn't get stopped.






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