Why Did Michael Brown Die in Ferguson?
- According to the police of Fergusson, Missouri it was because he reached for an officer's weapon, necessitating that he be shot multiple times as he ran away empty handed. Eyewitness tell a different story
. Whatever happened the killing has prompted demonstrations and looting. Ferguson police responded in full force, firing teargas
and wooden rounds
into crowds of protestors and sealing the area off from the media
. In the wake of the tragedy questions of racial profiling
, the paramilitarization of police
and media depictions of black shooting victims
have been raised. Meanwhile the shooter has not been named to preserve his safety
"In making the Confederate flag the icon behind his new tour, Kanye West is changing the meaning of a racist icon."
He'll be using the flag on Yeezus tour merchandise, and he wore a bomber jacket with a large Confederate flag patch on the arm during a recent trip to Barney's,
ostensibly as a statement about the Barney's profiling scandal.
But that didn't prevent
On the Media producer Sarah Abdurrahman and several members of her family and friends from being detained at a Canadian-US border while on the way home from a wedding. The story is all the more frightening as it details Sarah's inability to get any answers about policy from the Border Patrol, including the name of the officers who held her.
Officer Serrano’s Hidden Camera
"Once he joined the 4-0, nothing seemed clear-cut. 'Every now and then, we would have to be put in a van and hunt, basically…'"
"'If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.' So goes the old saying. Yet conditions in some American facilities are so obscene that they amount to a form of extrajudicial punishment." Mother Jones is profiling "America's 10 Worst Prisons."
Facilities were chosen for the list based on "...three years of research, correspondence with prisoners, and interviews with reform advocates." [more inside]
To Profile or Not to Profile?
A Debate between Sam Harris and Bruce Schneier.
is a smartphone app
designed to provide a quick and easy way to report complaints of air travel harassment, profiling, and discrimination. Within the first ten hours of its launch, FlyRights had fielded two complaints of harassment and profiling.
By contrast, the DHS's report to Congress on civil rights and civil liberties listed only 11 complaints in the first six months of 2011. FlyRights was designed by the Sikh Coalition,
the nation's largest Sikh civil rights organization.
1. Always be calm and cool. 2. You have the right to remain silent. 3. You have the right to refuse searches... 10 Rules for Dealing with Police. [more inside]
that display a personal message for you...that was sort of cute, and voluntary. Billboards
with speakers that focused sound
on a spot...voices in your head are not so cute, and not voluntary. Billboards
that photograph you, and him, and her, process the imagery, perform a statistical analysis, and return a targeted ad based on your demographic profile...maybe plan a different route home
Malcolm Gladwell takes a look at the effectiveness of criminal profiling
"We would pull over cars that had college bumper stickers, because we knew college kids often partied with marijuana...we would pull over 'Vietnam Vet' plates, because a lot of our vets developed a habit over there...I would look for Mexicans. I would look for black people. It works." A former Texas narcotics officer is selling a DVD that can teach you how to avoid arrest.
(Unless you're black, Mexican, a veteran, or a college kid, presumably.) Youtube
. More youtuberance
, media doesn't print names/photos of people only accused, but not yet convicted, but not always. Lots of towns have a police blotter section where arrests are listed.
Here in Seattle, the FBI recently asked
the public for help in identifying two men seen acting suspicious on the ferry system. The Seattle PI
has decided not to publish the photos. Other local
media have. The commentary
on if the PI made the right choice follows predictable paths...
Political Profiling run amok
. Right on the tails of the resignation of Kyle Sampson
, former chief of staff of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales comes a press conference where he accepts, but does not take, responsibility
. All this will come as no surprise to the people who read this report
that states that the offices of the U.S. Attorneys across the nation investigate seven times as many Democratic officials as they investigate Republican officials, a number that exceeds even the racial profiling of African Americans in traffic stops.
Air Marshals Say Passenger Overreacted. "The source said the air marshals on the flight were partially concerned (Annie) Jacobsen’s actions could have been an effort by terrorists or attackers to create a disturbance on the plane to force the agents to identify themselves."
(Second story down, via atrios
Police dog suspended for potential racism.
It seems that for some time now, Dolpho, a police dog in Pennsylvania, has been singling out black children, which, in the eyes of officials is clearly a sign of racism, and they are calling for an end to his active duty -- not to mention an end to his life.
Interview with Profiler Roy Hazelwood.
Enough to make you feel a little less safer, and to marvel at both the "the infinity of darkness," the depths of potential monstrosity, and the ability of some to understand broken minds and bent hearts. "'If I were to give you each a test, could you take it the way you think this offender would take it?' We said yes.... Both of us came out as paranoid schizophrenics. The psychiatrist was astounded. We sat there and tried to take the test as we thought the guy we had in mind would take the test. "
"If your name is David Nelson
you can expect to be hassled, delayed, questioned and searched before being allowed to board aircraft anywhere in the United States for the foreseeable future."
My Tivo thinks I'm a gay pregnant man!
This article documents the struggles that some people have gone to in order to gear Tivo's programming to their interests. As one man said of himself: " [I] often [order] cooking shows, which softens TiVo's view of [me]. "I don't want it thinking I'm an ax murderer,".
"The first flight we took my wife and I, we were greeted by a ticket agent who cheerfully told us that we had been selected randomly for a special security check. Then it began to happen at every single stop, at every single airport. The random process took on a 100 per cent certitude." Canadian award winning writer Rohinton Mistry cancels his US book tour after being subjected to racial profiling.
Would you fly with them?
Having the information, whatever you think it proves, would you get on the plane to find out what's behind it?
The Case for Profiling
'As it happens, the suicide bombers who attacked us on Sept. 11 were young, Islamic, Arab and male. That is not a stereotype. That is a fact. And there is no hiding from it, as there is no hiding from the next al-Qaeda suicide bomber. He has to be found and stopped." From what can be read here
, and in another Time article here
, it would appear that profiling is a touch harder to do than this lightweight rant suggests. Whether one agrees with profiling or not, there seems little point in Time Magazine cheerleading it with an article that can only add to the high level of ignorance already surrounding this subject.
No Profiling, No Saftey? ...to placate special interest groups that fear profiling will result in widespread racial or religious discrimination, authorities are imposing screening quotas that are unlikely to thwart a future terrorist attack. They should be doing the very opposite by creating more sophisticated profiling systems that catch real criminals.
Is it really "damned if they do, damned if they don't" or is there a better way?
Police offers will soon have to disclose why they have stopped someone
- I thought this sounded like a reasonably good idea... especially since on more than one occasion I've been pulled over just so they can "check my car over"... until I read this: "Forces will be told to set up panels of community representatives to scrutinise stop and search records and check that ethnic minorities are not being targeted disproportionately."
. Can anyone else see where this is going? "Oh, I'm afraid we can't arrest Mr. X, because we've arrested too many [insert random racial group here] this month".
What now? Fashion profiling?
(NYT) For the third time in 48 hours, an alert Israeli foiled an attempted suicide bombing on Tuesday. Near the West Bank settlement of Mehola in the Jordan Valley, a bus driver, Shalom Drei, thought a man climbing onto the second step of the bus looked suspicious. "He wore an aviator's jacket, zipped all the way up," Mr. Drei told Israeli television. "It looked strange to me."
Mr. Drei pushed the stranger back off the bus, then, as the bus pulled away, the man exploded.
Take the test: can you tell a person's race or ethnicity by their voice? Also, a survey
on the relationships one makes between voice and character; a survey
on bidialectalism; an NPR feature
in RealAudio format on the subject from September 7; and a Brazilian secondary school teacher's
simple assessment of the disconnect between students who write well but speak poorly.
China bans Muslims from flights.
Don't like America's solution for airline safety? Try this. I wonder if this policy is temporary, and timed for President Bush's imminent visit to the region, or is this China's long-term solution?
How will America respond - condemnation or tacit acceptance? Does it actually make Bush's trip safer?
Airport Detainees Cleared
At least 10 travelers of Middle Eastern descent who were detained at two New York airports have been cleared of any connection with Tuesday's terrorist attacks, Sen. Joseph Biden said Friday.
"Anyone with dark skin or who spoke with an accent was taken aside and searched," passenger Mike Glass of Seattle told the Times. "And then they went to any male with too much facial hair."
Isn't this going too far? >more<
Muslim congressional intern removed from White House
During a meeting between Muslim community leaders and the White House office of faith-based initiatives, too. Random administrative error, or religious profiling?
jon kats on "geek profiling":
"W.A.V.E joins new sofware "security" programs ... being tested in public schools in America to compile and computerize information on students believed to be dangerous or potentially violent. This new rat-on-kids industry is an offshoot of the Geek Profiling anti-Net hysteria that broke out all across the United States after the Columbine High School killings, whose first anniversary is fast approaching. Despite the fact that horrific incidents like Columbine are extremely rare, and that the FBI and Justice Department have both reported that youth violence has dropped to its lowest levels in more than half a century, the belief persists in much of America that technologies like the Internet (and activities like computer gaming) are turning otherwise healthy school children into mass murderers."