• TSA ‘behavior detection’ program targeting undocumented immigrants, not terrorists

    Profiling April 6, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Intercept. A controversial Transportation Security Administration program that uses “behavior indicators” to identify potential terrorists is instead primarily targeting undocumented immigrants, according to a document obtained by The Intercept and interviews with current and former government officials. The $900 million program, Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques, or SPOT, employs behavior detection officers trained to identify passengers who exhibit behaviors that TSA believes could be linked to would-be terrorists. But in one five-week period at a major international airport in the United States in 2007, the year the program started, only about 4 percent of the passengers who were referred to secondary screening or law enforcement by behavior detection officers were arrested, and nearly 90 percent of those arrests were for being in the country illegally, according to a TSA document obtained by The Intercept. Nothing in the SPOT records suggests that any of those arrested were associated with terrorist activity.

  • Chicago not “second city” in stop & frisks

    Profiling March 30, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Dissent Newswire. Chicago police stopped innocent people last summer more than four times as much as New York City cops did at the height of stop-and-frisk there, according to a report released last week by the Illinois American Civil Liberties Union. From May through August 2014, city police stopped people they didn’t arrest more than 250,000 times, the report says—a rate of 93.6 per 1,000 people, more than four times the rate New York had for those four months in 2011. While blacks and whites each make up about one-third of Chicago’s population, 72% of the people stopped were black, and only 9% were white.

  • Justice Department to fault Ferguson police, seeing racial bias in traffic stops

    Profiling March 1, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The New York Times. The Justice Department has nearly completed a highly critical report accusing the police in Ferguson, Mo., of making discriminatory traffic stops of African-Americans that created years of racial animosity leading up to an officer’s shooting of a black teenager last summer, law enforcement officials said. According to several officials who have been briefed on the report’s conclusions, the report criticizes the city for disproportionately ticketing and arresting African-Americans and relying on the fines to balance the city’s budget. The report, which is expected to be released as early as this week, will force Ferguson officials to either negotiate a settlement with the Justice Department or face being sued by it on civil rights charges. Either way, the result is likely to be significant changes inside the Ferguson Police Department, which is at the center of a national debate over race and policing.

  • America’s over-policing bombshell: How new data proves “stop & frisk” critics were right all along

    Profiling January 10, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Salon. Those who insisted that the police need to constantly stop young black and brown men 700,000 times on their way home from activities like school, church, or work in order to maintain order in the city were ultimately proven wrong. NYPD’s approach over the last year has “proven much more effective than the indiscriminate use of stop-and-frisk,” Richard Aborn, president of the Citizens Crime Commission, tells Salon, adding that stop-and-frisk “caused such deep resentment in communities of color, which continue to reverberate today.”

  • Why black New Yorkers like me are celebrating the NYPD work slowdown

    Profiling January 7, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: New Republic. For the second consecutive week, New York City police have virtually ceased writing tickets and arresting people for many nonviolent crimes, on the order of a 90 percent drop from a year earlier. After perceived slights by Mayor Bill de Blasio, civil protests against police brutality, and the murder of two officers by a deranged gunman, the New York Police Department is fighting back by not doing its job. Or rather, police appear to be using their resentment as an organizing incentive to skip certain non-essential cop duties. The police seem to be trying to teach a lesson to a city they feel doesn’t adequately appreciate them. For New Yorkers who value fair policing, though, the slowdown is an occasion to celebrate.

  • Confessing while Black

    Profiling December 12, 2014 at 0 comments

    Source: The Marshall Project Confessing while Black By: Andrew Cohen Daniel Jackson was a murder suspect, and knew it, when he sat down to be interrogated by two Peoria, Illinois police detectives on March 2, 2010. He first declared, on videotape, that he understood and would waive his Miranda rights […]

  • The long, halting, unfinished fight to end racial profiling in America

    Profiling December 9, 2014 at 0 comments

    Source: The Washington Post: George W. Bush promised to end racial profiling a decade ago. Now Eric Holder is still trying. More than a decade later, with a rare moment of bipartisan momentum long past, Bush’s promise remains unfulfilled. Communities across the country still chafe at the profiling they perceive in state immigration laws that allow police to disproportionately challenge the status of Hispanics, in surveillance of local Muslim communities, and in statistics showing that blacks are still interrogated by police on the street at a far higher rate than other groups. Black drivers, nationwide, are twice as likely as whites to be arrested during a traffic stop.

  • Wave of protests after grand jury doesn’t indict officer in Eric Garner chokehold case

    Profiling December 5, 2014 at 0 comments

    Source: The New York Times, A Staten Island grand jury on Wednesday ended the criminal case against a white New York police officer whose chokehold on an unarmed black man led to the man’s death, a decision that drew condemnation from elected officials and touched off a wave of protests. The fatal encounter in July was captured on videos and seen around the world. But after viewing the footage and hearing from witnesses, including the officer who used the chokehold, the jurors deliberated for less than a day before deciding that there was not enough evidence to go forward with charges against the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, 29, in the death of the man, Eric Garner, 43. Officer Pantaleo, who has been on the force for eight years, appeared before the grand jury on Nov. 21, testifying that he did not intend to choke Mr. Garner, who was being arrested for allegedly selling loose cigarettes. He described the maneuver as a takedown move, adding that he never thought Mr. Garner was in mortal danger.

  • Outrage about Ferguson grand jury decision grows

    Profiling November 28, 2014 at 0 comments

    Source: The Philadelphia Tribune. A Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict a police officer for the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown has left many here and around the nation expressing disappointment and calling for a federal investigation.

  • Racial gap in U.S. arrest rates: ‘Staggering disparity’

    Profiling November 19, 2014 at 0 comments

    Source: USA Today. When it comes to racially lopsided arrests, the most remarkable thing about Ferguson, Mo., might be just how ordinary it is. Police in Ferguson — which erupted into days of racially charged unrest after a white officer killed an unarmed black teen — arrest black people at a rate nearly three times higher than people of other races. At least 1,581 other police departments across the USA arrest black people at rates even more skewed than in Ferguson, a USA TODAY analysis of arrest records shows.