What is “Profiling?”

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Offender profiling (or “criminal profiling”) dates back to Dr. Thomas Bond who tried to aid Scotland Yard in the search for Jack the Ripper. It was used in the United States to help capture George Metesky, aka “The Mad Bomber”. Now it’s widely used by law enforcement and is a common feature in movies and television.

With the professionalization of police work beginning in the mid-19th Century scientific methods and disciplines were incorporated into police investigations. This included the use of behavioral sciences and data analysis.

The first use of profiling was to identify and capture specific criminals. Then somebody got the bright idea to use existing data on crimes and criminals to predict future criminal behavior. Then you can tell the cops when and where to patrol and who to look for.

In the mid 1980’s the crack cocaine epidemic started. George H. W. Bush gave a speech while holding a bag of confiscated crack. Congress authorized big bucks to deal with this new front in the War on Drugs™. The DEA led our nation’s law enforcement agencies in attacking this horrible scourge.

When Prohibition was enacted in 1920 it provided a huge economic opportunity for anyone willing to smuggle and sell alcohol. Local gangs in Irish, Jewish and especially Italian neighborhoods were the best positioned to take advantage of that opportunity.

Just as with Prohibition the crack epidemic brought with it huge illegal windfalls and violent “turf” wars between competing gangs. Typically, the most violent and ruthless gangs prevailed.

When the crack epidemic started it was the black and Hispanic gangs that were primarily involved in the importation, distribution and sale of cocaine. Major importation routes went through south Florida, Texas and California and then used airlines and interstate highways to distribute the drug throughout the United States. large amounts of illegal cash were brought back via the same routes.

The DEA took note of this and prepared “drug courier profiles” to aid local law enforcement in spotting and interdicting these criminals. These profiles mentioned race as one of many factors to look for. These factors were supposed to be used in determining probable cause to search.

But race was never intended to be the sole factor and the undisputable fact that most drug couriers were young black and Hispanic males does not mean that most black and Hispanic males were drug couriers. The misapplication (or over-application) of race as part of profiling drug couriers led to accusations that the police were engaged in “racial profiling”.

A new meme was born.

Nowadays when someone says “That’s profiling!” what they really mean is “That’s racist!” Sometimes they are correct. But quite often they are not.

Data can be very malleable. That is where the expression “massage the data” comes from. That is why it is difficult to find “hard” data on racial profiling.

There is data that indicates that traffic cops stop people of color in numbers disproportionate to their share of the general population. Is that proof that racial profiling is taking place?

Maybe. Or maybe not.

Cops tend to patrol high crime areas more frequently than low crime areas. This means they will see more violations in high crime areas simply because they patrol there more often. High crime areas tend to be low-income areas. People with low-incomes are more likely to drive older vehicles with mechanical defects. They are also more likely to have expired registrations but they are less likely to have insurance.

Last but not least, low income areas tend to have disproportionate numbers of people of color. So even without racism you should expect disproportionate numbers of people of color getting stopped by the cops.

Did George Zimmerman “profile” Trayvon Martin? I can’t say because I can’t read minds. On the other hand I don’t see any evidence of racial profiling.

But what if he did?

What if George Zimmerman was 100% completely wrong to be suspicious of Trayvon Martin? What difference does it make to his guilt or innocence?

Trayvon Martin is dead because he attacked an armed man. Nothing that Zimmerman did justified that attack.

The jury agreed with me.


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About Myiq2xu™

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44 Responses to What is “Profiling?”

  1. DandyTiger says:

    Trayvon Martin is dead because he attacked an armed man

    Trayvon chose poorly.

    • DandyTiger says:

      I apologize to all sentient lifeforms for the asswipe that is Chris Matthews. Sorry, we let him slip through the quality control department.

    • Constance says:

      What a fool. If he wants to apologize for elitist east coast whites go right ahead but leave us white trash out of it, we had nothing to do with slavery other than being descendent from indentured servants/slaves ourselves.

  2. myiq2xu says:

    When I look at people I look at the way they are dressed, tattoos (if any) mannerisms, and behavior along with age and sex. Race is like height, weight and eye color – it describes what they look like but it doesn’t tell you what kind of person they are.

  3. helenk3 says:

    remember a friend telling me about a kid in her son;s school. no long haired hippy, looked like a choir boy. was the biggest drug dealer in the school

    no you can not always judge a book by its cover but experience can tell you whether or not you want that book around you

    • myiq2xu says:

      The biggest pothead at my high school was a Mennonite kid who had short hair and wore dress shirts, dress pants and dress shoes to school.

      Standard dress was Levis, T-shirts, tennis shoes and long hair.

  4. myiq2xu says:

    Speaking of profiling, I am watching WWTBAM on DVR and the contestant is a WMA who is wearing a scarf.

    Am I wrong in assuming he is probably gay?

  5. myiq2xu says:
  6. myiq2xu says:
  7. helenk3 says:

    http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/the-democrats%E2%80%99-problem-with-white-voters/

    how many whites has the democratic party driven away?

    In America today if you are white the backtrack government has you under attack. so why would any white vote for them?

  8. SHV says:

    “Did George Zimmerman “profile” Trayvon Martin? I can’t say because I can’t read minds. On the other hand I don’t see any evidence of racial profiling.”
    ******
    But from the testimony and subsequent statements by Rachel Jeantel, both she and Trayvon Martin were profiling Zinnerman as a gay pervert possible rapist. (crazy) “ass-cracker” is one “inner city” term for a gay man. IIRC something like (Rachel) “don’t let that pervert follow you home…your brother is there…etc., etc.” So Trayvon circled back in order to beat the shit out of the ass-cracker.

  9. helenk3 says:

    listening to the NAACP guy on Hannity.
    what I get out of it is all blacks are not created equal.
    If you are black and gunned down in Chicago by another black the NAACP doesn’t even bother to find out your name.
    If you are black and confronted by a “white” hispanic and both of you use bad judgement you become a “cause”. Your name is used to raise funds, your name is used to get laws changed that had nothing to do with the incident you are used.

    • insanelysane says:

      <>If you are black and confronted by a “white” hispanic and both of you use bad judgement you become a “cause”. Your name is used to raise funds, your name is used to get laws changed that had nothing to do with the incident you are used.

      Same M.O. as Oscar Grant.

      We also have Paul and Kulbir Dhaliwal, This time the thugs caused the death of a majestic tiger and their innocent friend.
      2007 SF Zoo.
      Lame thugs screwing around results in death and the AA community is strapped into defending the travesty.

      Excuses are just that.

      Excuses.

  10. mcnorman says:

    OT RS should have used the pic of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. That laser pointed at his head is what many of us wanted.

  11. westcoaster says:

    ObamaCareNado (new ad by Crossroads):

  12. angienc says:

    What if George Zimmerman was 100% completely wrong to be suspicious of Trayvon Martin? What difference does it make to his guilt or innocence?

    This whole private citizen being guilty of “profiling” is bullshit in the first place — it’s only illegal when the state/government does it & I’m sick and tired of the progs trying to turn it into a thought crime. “Ooh, you saw a black teen wandering around in the rain at night in your neighborhood and you thought he might be up to no good — DIE RACIST!!!!” Well,so the fuck what? People are allowed to think what they want in this country — or at least they used to be.

    • 1539days says:

      Even under federal hate crime legislation, George Zimmerman would have to do something to violate Trayvon Martin’s civil rights.

      First, the feds would need to prove that Zimmerman did something to Martin. They would have to prove that Zimmerman either shot Martin for a reason other than self-defense, that he provoked a confrontation or he was stalking and following Martin because he was black.

      I’ve heard a lot of BS today about how the racist cops let a lot of evidence wash away on the night of the shooting. Even if that happened, (which it didn’t) the hate crime “evidence” would be words or circumstantial. The half-assed scenario they would need is that Zimmerman used the raccoon word, meant “they” were black people and approached Martin rather than walking to his car.

      The problem with that scenario is the presumption of innocence. It can’t just be the possible scenario or the likely scenario, but the scenario that makes the most sense out of all the other possible theories.

      In other words, I can see a big settlement for Zimmerman if Holder takes this to trial.

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